6 Ways to Improve Co-parenting During a Divorce on Long Island
Going through a divorce is a difficult process for anyone on Long Island, whether the split was amicable or not, and when children are involved, it can become even more complicated. Maintaining a good co-parenting relationship after your split is essential to ensure that your children are getting what they need from both parties and they do not become tools to direct your anger toward each other.
The Benefits of Good Co-Parenting
When you can work together with your ex-spouse to have a healthy co-parenting relationship, everyone benefits. It is important to remember that parenting is about putting your child’s needs ahead of your own. When it comes to co-parenting that means putting your personal needs and issues secondary to your child’s needs as well. When you have a successful co-parenting relationship your children will:
- Feel more secure.
- Benefit from parenting consistency.
- Have healthy role models to follow.
- Be mentally and emotionally healthier.
Tips for Improving Your Co-Parenting
While there is no way to guarantee that there will be no hiccups during your co-parenting strategies, there are some tips to help make it go more smoothly and make it an easier transition for your kids.
#1. Separate Your Feelings from Your Behavior
This may seem difficult at first, but it is crucial to be able to put aside the hurt and anger you may feel toward your partner when you are co-parenting. While it is perfectly okay to have these feelings, it is vital to not let these feelings dictate the way you behave. You should always find outlets for your feelings that don’t entail venting to your children. Consider seeing a therapist to help deal with your emotions and receive guidance on how to prevent those from spilling over to your children.
#2. Never Put Your Children in the Middle
It is always important to remember that you and your ex-spouse are the adults in this situation and you must be able to communicate with each other with regard to your children when necessary. Your children should never be used to deliver messages to your spouse, especially with regard to such things as child support and visitation schedules. If you find face-to-face communication way too difficult, it is better to try texting or emailing instead of passing messages through the children.
#3. Improve Your Communication Techniques
Communicating with your ex is one of the most challenging, but important tasks to work on when you are co-parenting. Try to remember that when you are communicating with your ex regarding co-parenting, it is not the time to resolve conflicts that led to the divorce, but to focus on issues that need to be addressed for your children’s well-being. When communicating try to:
- Make the tone businesslike.
- Make requests, not demands.
- Always listen without interrupting. Remember both of you want to be heard.
- Exercise restraint and don’t overact.
- Commit to regular meetings to discussion the welfare of your children.
- Make sure your conversations stay focused on the kids.
- Ask your ex’s opinion when it comes to important decisions regarding the kids.
#4. Approach Decision Making as a Team
No matter what ages your children are, there will be many major decisions that you will need to come together to decide and approaching these decisions as a team is critical. Part of approaching how you raise your children as a team will need to start with maintaining consistency in both households. While this does not mean you have to have the same rules for each household, it is crucial to have similar lifestyle rules between the two living environments. This can include having similar forms of discipline and consequences, having rules about homework, consistent curfews, and off-limit activities. Additionally, having similar schedules in both households, such as mealtimes and bedtimes, will allow your children to feel safe and ease the transition moving between households.
#5. Make Important Decisions Together
Remember that all major decisions should be made together, so neither parent is overstepping their bounds. These major decisions will often extend to medical needs, educational paths, and financial concerns.
#6. Make the Transition as Easy as Possible
Whether it occurs on the weekends, or throughout the week, making the transition between two different households can be difficult on your child. Try looking at it from their perspective. Every time they say “hello” to one parent, they are having to say “goodbye” to another, realizing each time that their household will no longer be what it once was. Because of this, making the transition as easy as possible will help ease not only the physical, but the emotional difficulties that can come from going back and forth as well.
- Stay on a positive note when getting them ready to go to your ex’s.
- Always make sure that they are brought and picked up on time.
- Help them prepare for when they leave and have them pack in advance.
- Consider each parent only doing dropping off to avoid the feeling that the child is being taken from the other parent.
- Keep your child’s basics in both homes.
Have Questions About Co-Parenting or Child Custody on Long Island?
If you are looking for answers to any co-parenting legal concerns or child custody, our Long Island Divorce & Family Law Firm can help. Call 631-923-1910 to set up your free consultation to meet with an experienced divorce and family law attorney.
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