Co-parenting is hard. There are ways to make it easier.
Talk About Parenting Issues Before the Divorce
It is critical that you talk to your spouse about important parenting issues before the divorce is final. Talk about who your child will spend holidays and special occasions with, who will have the authority to make important decisions, and other hot button issues. If you do not settle these matters before your divorce is final, you will spend a lot of time and money litigating them later.
Include Dispute Resolution in Your Settlement
Disputes will arise about the kids, regardless of how friendly you are with your ex. Include a provision in your divorce settlement that outlines how these disputes will be resolved. You can stipulate that you and your ex will try to reach an agreement. If that does not work, you can then enter mediation. As a last resort, you may have to go to court to settle the matter.
Outline Accepted Forms of Communication
Talking on the phone is rarely the best way to communicate with your ex. Instead, use texting and emailing. These forms of communication can greatly minimize disputes.
Assume Your Ex is Doing Their Best
By the time you get a divorce, you have lost at least some trust in your spouse. It is then easy to become very angry when they are late for child custody pickups or drop-offs, or when they otherwise do not comply with agreements. Always start by assuming your ex is doing their best to comply. This can lead to conversations, which can help resolve a dispute before it gets out of hand.
Share Information with Your Ex
Disputes sometimes arise because one person did not have all the information. Or, your ex may feel left out when you do not pass on the children’s report cards to them. Share any information you have about the kids with your ex, and it will greatly minimize the opportunity for conflict.
Do Not Speak Badly About Your Ex
Badmouthing your ex to your children is extremely damaging to them. It can also hurt your chances in child custody hearings. Never speak badly about your ex to the kids, or any time they may be able to overhear you.
Focus on the Kids
When speaking with your ex, keep the conversations limited to child-related matters only. Do not ask them about their personal life or other details. You may just be being polite. Your ex may think you are prying, or they may say something that angers you but that has nothing to do with your custody situation.
Let Go of Control
Truthfully, you could not control your spouse during the marriage. You cannot control them now either. Let go of the idea that you can force them to do certain things, such as go to a specific place when it is their time with the kids. It will save you a lot of frustration and legal disputes.
Have Delayed Reactions
Many disputes arise because people say something inflammatory in the heat of the moment. If your ex does something to anger you, take a deep breath and wait ten seconds before you say anything. You will be surprised at how much calmer you will feel, which will greatly help limit conflict.
Lower Your Expectations
You and your ex may parent your children in different ways. You cannot expect them to parent the same way you do after divorce. Doing so will only lead to disputes when your ex inevitably does something differently than you would have.
Our Divorce Lawyers in Charleston Can Help with Your Parenting Issues
Sometimes, disputes will arise even when you try your best to avoid them. At The Peck Law Firm, our Charleston divorce lawyers can help you resolve them while giving you the best chance of a successful outcome. Contact us now at (843) 631-7117 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.