5 Tips to Effective Co-Parenting After Divorce
If you’re going through a divorce on Long Island or have recently finalized one and share children with your ex-spouse, you’re likely dealing with matters of child custody and co-parenting. Co-parenting can be challenging, but studies show a child benefits most after a divorce if they continue to have a meaningful relationship with both of their parents. Here are 5 tips to effectively co-parent your child after your divorce and how to get legal help when you need it.
#1. Put the Needs and Best Interests of Your Child First
The most important thing you and your ex-spouse can do after getting a divorce is to put the needs of your child first. When considering matters of child custody and visitation, think about what would keep the child’s routine intact or disrupt it the least. Think about what is most likely to be in their best interest and commit to that. If you and your ex both do and use your child’s needs and wellbeing as a guide, you’ll disagree far less than if you have a different agenda in mind.
#2. Consider the Wishes of Your Child If They Are Old Enough
If your child is old enough to voice their preferences, it’s critical that you and your ex-spouse take them into consideration when making co-parenting decisions. While not all of your child’s desires will be able to be met, it’s important that they feel heard and listened to when it comes to their family dynamics. For example, even though hearing that your child would rather stay with their other parent two more days of the week because it’s easier to get home from basketball practice and go to school the next day, it’s in your child’s best interests to remain in their extracurricular activities and have a stable schedule.
#3. Utilize a Co-Parenting App
If you are co-parenting, using an app specifically designed for this purpose can be a tremendous help. A co-parenting app allows you and your ex to communicate within the app, which is then recorded and uploaded to the cloud for review by the court. This is important when you need to be able to show all communication with your ex. Many of them also have robust features like alerts, text messaging, calendar options, and more. Even if you and your ex-spouse are on good terms, using a co-parenting app can help you keep records straight and keep up with visitation times.
#4. Process Difficult Emotions Outside the Home
Going through a divorce — even when uncontested — is an upsetting, life-changing event. In cases where a divorce is in the best interest of the family, it’s still difficult to give up on the dreams you had for your marriage or the idea that you can make it work. However, where you process these challenging emotions matters when you have children. Don’t discuss the ongoing divorce proceedings with your children no matter their age, and avoid talking to friends or family about it on the phone where you can be overheard. Instead, meet friends for lunch outside the home or process your emotions with the help of an experienced divorce counselor or therapist.
#5. Adhere to Court Orders
If all else fails, always adhere to the court orders, especially in regard to visitation pick up and drop off times, child support requirements, and other guidelines set forth by a New York family court. If you and your ex agree on a change that isn’t in line with the divorce decree, you could face legal consequences if your ex reports you and then denies the agreement. If your agreement needs to be changed due to various circumstances, you can work with an experienced family law attorney to have your court orders modified.
Do You Need the Support of a Long Island Divorce Lawyer?
Even after your divorce is final, you and your ex will need to be in communication regularly to parent your child together. This can often be difficult, especially if you and your ex find it difficult to get along or work productively with each other. If you’ve entered into a co-parenting relationship with your ex, you may need legal support to ensure that the rights and best interests of you and your family are protected at all times. Contact Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today to learn more at 631-923-1910.
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