Divorce is seen as a traumatic process and while the divorce styles of the past certainly merited that distinction, the advent of mediation and collaborative divorce have provided families with an alternative that is seen as a more positive way to dissolve a marriage. While divorce will always be a big change, it can be used as a stepping stone for growth. One way to make the experience less traumatic is to focus on the children and co-parenting.
Co-parenting is increasingly important in a world where almost half of marriages end in divorce. Parents who share custody can help alleviate the stress and tension of the divorce and diminish some of the negative effects on their children by utilizing techniques meant to help them communicate and work together to raise their children while in two separate households.
Benefits of Co-Parenting
Children who have parents who successfully co-parent and work together in their upbringing feel more secure and adjust better to their new situation. They understand that they are still loved and often have better self-esteem.
Consistency between a child’s two homes can help them adjust as they can understand that the rules are the same regardless of where they are. Similar expectations and rules make life easier for everyone involved.
Children raised by parents who co-parent see a positive example of people working together and may be less likely to suffer emotional distress due to the divorce.
Co-parenting isn’t easy and definitely requires the buy-in of both former spouses. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Don’t act from a place of hurt or anger.
Rather than letting your emotions dictate your actions. It may feel good to snap at your former spouse or deny them some privilege, however, in the long term, it isn’t good for the children. Choose to be motivated by what is best for your children and work to find a way to communicate with your former spouse that is amenable to you.
Build a support system.
Make sure you have someone to speak to about how you are feeling. It can be a friend or a professional. While you may have some anger or resentment at your former partner, you don’t want that coming out in front of the kids. Having someone else to speak with and vent to can help you move past those feelings and better enable you to focus on your children’s wellbeing.
Discuss how communication will occur.
To remove some of the stress of dealing with your ex, have a discussion on the best ways to communicate. Ideally, you should have this discussion with a child specialist who can provide pointers for how to broach topics and appropriate ways to make requests.
For more parenting tips, visit helpguide.org.
Collaborative Divorce Can Help You Co-Parent
Co-parenting isn’t easy and the methods that are used when children are young may be different than those adopted as the children grow. One way to help ensure you and your family get off on the right foot with co-parenting is to use the collaborative divorce process.
With a focus on the best interests of all involved parties, collaborative divorce provides separating spouses with an opportunity to work together to craft their divorce agreements and to utilize a team trained to engage and educate. A child specialist can prove especially useful for parents in a collaborative divorce. With their training in child development and experience with custody agreements and co-parenting, they can provide parents with helpful methods and tools to use as they navigate their new roles.
If you’d like to learn more about the collaborative process and the importance of co-parenting, speak to a trained Tampa collaborative divorce lawyer.