Deciding to end your marriage can be hard enough on a married couple, but when children are involved, the challenges can be even greater. While you may prefer to never interact with your soon-to-be former spouse again, the reality after a divorce involving kids is that you will likely have some degree of affiliation with your ex moving forward.
Consequently, it’s wise to consider how you will learn to co-parent with your ex soon after considering a divorce. Making the transition as smooth as possible is typically the goal for most parents.
Luckily, there are some steps you can take to help your kids adjust to life in two separate houses.
1. Learn how to communicate. This is one of the most important aspects of your new relationship with your former spouse. You want to find a way to communicate about your children, without ending up in an argument on each occasion. Particularly when your children are still of school age, there will be countless small situations that require both of your attention.
If you find that speaking in person causes too many conflicts, try to find another method that suits your new relationship better. Some parents may find they can get most messages across via text or email, eliminating the risk of a conversation becoming heated.
2. Don’t pick every fight. Even though your children will now be parented by each spouse separately, the issues that frustrated you before will likely continue. While you should communicate and compromise on the issues that are especially important, small variances in your parenting styles are bound to arise. Rather than arguing over every difference, try to choose the ones that matter the most to you.
3. Value the time your kids spend with the other spouse. You can think about this in two ways. One, appreciate that your children, in most cases, will want to have a relationship with both parents. Consequently, even though it may be tempting to check in with them frequently when they are with the other parent, understand that interrupting a special outing with your former spouse could be upsetting. Allow them the opportunity to enjoy the time they spend with both of you. Two, value the time you have when you are not with your children. It can be difficult to find time for yourself when raising little ones, so taking the time to recharge can be extremely beneficial.
In addition, as you will have enough to think about to ensure your children transition smoothly, obtaining the help of a skilled family law attorney to help with your divorce is a wise idea.