What do you Need to Discuss to Adequately Prepare for Co-Parenting?
Separated and divorced parents face complex, and long lasting, challenges. The type of parenting that occurs after a divorce will vary based on the situation and how well the parents get along. Regardless of the situation parents should strive to make every decision knowing that it will affect their children. Parents who wish to co-parent in the most effective way possible should start by considering a list of significant questions. Sit down with your ex and discuss the questions and your answers. Doing so can help you avoid serious mistakes and difficulty in the future.
Before Co-Parenting After Divorce, Ask Yourself and the Other Parent These Questions:
How can you make life better for your children after the divorce than it was before?
Is there anything you can do to increase their feelings of security, self-esteem, and well-being during the major changes on the horizon?
When your children are grown will they respect you for the way you handled the divorce?
Where can the children receive the best home environment and for what percent of each day or week? Month or year? Can the parenting plan (and the divorced parents) be flexible as the children grow and change stages in life?
Are the children being burdened with any responsibilities that should only be shouldered by an adult?
Would you make the same parenting decision if you weren’t getting divorced? Are you allowing any negative feelings to guide your judgement regarding parenting decisions?
How can you best contribute your assets (physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, etc.) to provide the children with a harmonious and peaceful family structure after divorce?
Using these questions as guidelines prior to negotiations or during mediation can create a firm foundation for parenting plans and co-parenting after divorce. The goal when parents are divorcing should be a child-centered divorce; one that offers cooperative and respectful joint parenting. It may not be perfect, and it may not be easy, and you may not feel that your efforts are appreciated in the midst of the parenting, but one day your children will thank you for all that you did to provide them with what they needed while they were handling the difficult transition.
If you need assistance creating a child-centered parenting plan or if you have questions about co-parenting after divorce, please get in touch with one of the experienced family law attorneys at Stanley-Wallace Law.