Effectively Parenting After Divorce
Ending a marriage is a difficult and emotional process. One of the hardest parts is letting go of the resentment and anger to move forward in a positive way. This is an important step for all divorced individuals, but it is particularly critical for parents. Working together effectively with your ex-spouse to co-parent your children is essential.
At Fawell & Fawell, our family law attorney has decades of experience helping parents across Chicago develop successful co-parenting strategies, draft parenting plans and deal with other issues related to the marital dissolution process. From our Wheaton office, we are available to help you, too.
Three Things To Do
Here are three tips for making co-parenting after divorce more successful:
- Express your emotions elsewhere — It is good and necessary to talk about what you are going through as you recover from the pain of divorce, but such feelings should be expressed to people other than your children. Consider talking to a professional counselor or trusted friend on a regular basis.
- Take a new view — Begin thinking of your relations with the other parent as something entirely new, a business partnership focused on jointly providing the best care possible for your children. Remember: It’s no longer about the anger and pain you feel or about the other person’s past mistakes; it’s about doing what is best for your kids.
- Aim for consistency — As much as possible, the goal should be for you and your ex-spouse to develop consistent rules, schedules and discipline techniques. This will help give your children a sense of stability.
Three Things To Avoid
The following can potentially harm your children and your working relationship with your ex-spouse:
- Don’t put your child in the middle — Don’t ask your child to deliver messages to the other parent, complain to him or her about how terrible the other parent is or seek to undermine your child’s relationship with your ex-spouse. This can be very damaging.
- Don’t misplace your manners — Even though you and your ex-spouse disagree on many things, it is wise to stay calm, cool, collected and polite when dealing with him or her. Speaking politely can accomplish much.
- Don’t stop talking — Failing to communicate with your ex-spouse can lead to complete estrangement, making it impossible to come to decisions about critical matters.
- Don’t alienate your children from the other parent — Your children love both of you. Refrain from saying negative things about the other parent to them or in their presence.