Co-Parenting Tips Following Divorce
While the finalization of your divorce might come as a relief, your connection to your ex—especially if you have children—will never completely disappear. If you had parenting conflicts before your divorce, they can become even more pronounced post-divorce. When it comes to co-parenting, it’s important to cooperate for the benefit of your child, even if it’s difficult.
You know that your kids need both of you, so you know that amicable co-parenting is in your kids’ best interests. Amicable and divorce, however, often don’t go well together. You can, however, take important steps to move your co-parenting strategies closer to harmonious:
Co-parent kindly – Let your kids know that, while they may not share equal amounts of time with each of you, they still have two parents who love them full-time. This can be challenging because it’s often difficult to separate volatile divorce emotions from the reality of your custody situation. But when it comes to your kids, it’s imperative that you respect each of your roles as co-parents and that you model this respect for your children.
Don’t bad-mouth – While bad-mouthing your ex may feel cathartic, it can hurt your children. Your children, after all, rely upon your ex to provide them with care, support, and love. Hearing ugly things about this important person in their lives can hurt and frighten them.
Don’t send messages through your children – While it may seem like it’s more expedient to simply send messages to your ex through your children, it’s rarely a good idea. A divorce is hard for everyone, but kids are often the most hurt and confused. In this modern era of instant communication, you simply have no excuse to use your kids as go-betweens. Such requests can leave children confused and concerned about their allegiances—and they shouldn’t have to form allegiances in the first place. If your kids offer up information, do your level best to respond appropriately.
Don’t ask your kids to keep secrets – Asking your kids to keep harmless secrets—like about dessert for breakfast and the like—is never a good idea. When asked to keep secrets, your children will have to think about what they should and shouldn’t say, which is stressful for children (who are taught to tell the truth). Furthermore, the only way to keep your romantic life private is to keep that relationship separate from your children.
Give your children the privacy and the ability to contact their other parent – Because our modern lives revolve around instant communication, your kids will have plenty of opportunities to stay in touch with their other parent. While it’s fine for you to monitor their device usage, let them know that they can get in touch with their other parent at will and that you’ll never invade that privacy.
Contact a Katy, Texas, Family Law Attorney
If you are going through a Texas divorce, a skilled divorce attorney can help you find the best solutions for you and your children. Divorce is always stressful, but custody and scheduling issues are often the most complex and emotionally wrought. The Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., is here to help. Attorney Frank J. Vendt is a Texas divorce lawyer with the experience, skill, and compassion to help you move through this difficult time in your life with the most favorable results possible. Schedule a consultation with Mr. Vendt today by calling our office at (832) 276-9474 or by contacting us online.