It may seem frustrating at times to co-parent with someone you used to share a life with. Perhaps you are having trouble seeing eye to eye or your parenting styles are so different they have begun to confuse your child. You may not know how to change the situation for the benefit of your child. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make co-parenting with your ex-partner easier.
1.Be Flexible with Schedules
When you first made your custody agreement, you may have constructed a schedule to manage time-sharing of your children. However, life isn’t always as rigid as a set schedule and things will naturally come up that require you to modify the schedule for the day, week or even month. Say there is a sports game your ex would like to take your child to, or perhaps they want to take a spontaneous trip; if doing so would benefit the child, you’ll likely want to let them go—even if it conflicts with the established schedule you’ve been following to date. . And, in most cases, that’s ok! Giving your child the freedom to deviate from the schedule can be liberating for all parties involved.
2.Communicate Directly with Your Ex
This may be hard to accomplish if communication was a problem during the relationship, but you should always speak with them directly. Never use your child to relay messages between the two of you. If the child is young, they may accidentally get the message wrong or they may pick up on negative feelings you and your ex have for each other. You want your relationship to appear as neutral as possible while in the presence of your child. It will help them cope with the divorce as well as foster relationships when they grow older.
3.Exchange Your Child in Neutral Territory
Consider meeting your ex somewhere neutral when picking up or dropping off your child. Somewhere they enjoy, like a park or a restaurant, is ideal. If you and your ex struggle to get along, this could help minimize the chance of an argument, and it helps avoid any unwanted run-ins with a new partner. If you exchange your child somewhere neutral and focus on civility, there is a high probability of positive results.
4.Share Child Accomplishments
If your child spends most of their time with you and they bring home a good grade from school or a trophy from a sports’ team, share the news with your ex. They should be a part of special life events and be able to celebrate the small victories in your child’s life just like you do.
5.Let Your Child Communicate with Your Ex
Your child could miss your ex at any given moment. If you are on a trip and they suddenly want to call your ex, let them. Don’t make excuses as to why they can’t. Instead, let your child continue their relationship with your ex. This is also important for holidays or your ex’s birthday. You should help your child get a gift and card. Encourage them to express their feelings with your ex; even though you aren’t a family anymore it’s still important to maintain a sense of stability and cohesion.
If you are currently going through a divorce and need guidance on setting up a successful co-parenting schedule, reach out to an attorney experienced in co-parenting. We can help you reach an agreement on a schedule that works for both you and your ex-spouse and minimizes the potential for disagreements.
Get in Contact with Smith Law Offices, LLC
Our St. Charles attorneys have over 30 years of experience practicing family law. We can help you create a co-parenting schedule that fits your custody agreement.
Call us at (636) 400-1177 or contact us online for a case evaluation.