Tips for Divorced Parents on Co-Parenting and Joint Custody

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Going through a divorce is not the hardest part when you have children. Read on to know how to make the best of joint custody.

When a married couple needs to separate or end their marriage by getting divorced, things can get very complicated. The divorce itself is harrowing. All the terms and conditions, the negotiating, the meetings with the lawyers, and the endless haggling through the petty issues will definitely make you wonder if it is worth it going through it all. "Can I handle it myself or do I need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?" suddenly becomes the most vital question of your life. It's very natural to be overwhelmed, especially when you have children to take care of.

After divorce, the whole focus is how to make co-parenting easy and doable for both of you. Wouldn't it be better if you got some practical real-life tips that would make your experience a lot easier? Your goal is to provide your child a balanced and happy life. Following the tips mentioned in this article, you will learn that you don't need to stay under the same roof together to ensure a proper and balanced upbringing for your child. Here are the tips.

Put Your Child's Needs First

You need to be able to put all your issues with your co-parent to one side and always put your child's needs first. This has to be the priority for parents, even if you have had a messy separation. You have to ensure the safety and security of your child in order to make your divorce truly successful. You may find that many times your past issues will create friction, but you must bring the conversation back to ensuring the best for your child. You can both see a therapist if required to get help with this.

Try to Remain Positive

You need to bring up your co-parent's good sides in front of your child. You need to show them that although you are separated, you still appreciate the good things that your co-parent brings into your lives. This way your children will feel secure and reassured to speak positively about a parent when he or she isn't present without hurting your feelings. Staying positive will also be beneficial for you, as it will help you maintain better health and improve your overall well-being.

Take Care of Yourself As Well

Going through a divorce and having to consent to co-parenting is no walk in the park. It leaves you emotionally and mentally drained. You need to put aside time each day for self-care. You can do this by exercising every day or taking a massage. You need to reaffirm to yourself that you are a good person and also a responsible parent. It will be helpful for your child to see that you are doing something positive for yourself. Taking care of yourself will also allow you to take better care of your child.

Handle New Relationships Smartly

It's inevitable that you and your partner will enter into new relationships. You need to handle it smartly when it comes to your child and agree on what roles the new partners will have with your children. The whole dynamic of a new partnership with the child and the co-parent is very sensitive, and the new partner should not get involved in any decisions that are concerned with rearing the child until their place in the family structure is established. You need to discuss with your co-parent the role the new partner will have in decision-making for your child. Just be sure to keep your child's well-being above everything else.

Maintain Healthy Communication with Your Co-Parent

Maintaining clear and concise communication with your ex may be difficult to achieve but crucial when you are co-parents who are trying to do the best for your child's upbringing. You need to be able to identify your own strengths and weaknesses in order to achieve this. You may be too upset with each other to carry out a face-to-face conversation. You just need to acknowledge that and find other ways to communicate with each other regarding passing info about your children. You need to rise above your personal feelings for each other in order to openly communicate about your child's welfare. You also need to evaluate your communication strategies every few months to move to the next level of more comfortable communicating methods. Seeing you communicate comfortably will also be a positive signal for your children.

Agree on the Big Stuff

You need to be consistent with your co-parent while enforcing rules such as personal hygiene, screen time, household chores, playtime, and the overall behavior of your child. If you and your co-parent did not agree before on parenting styles, that increases the complications somewhat more after separation but try not to micromanage every decision of the other parent as long as both of you are committed to providing a stable and happy upbringing for your child. You will, however, need to be on the same page while making important decisions for your child, for instance, medical care, schooling, and socio-religious values. These factors need to be agreed upon when you have joint custody. Get counseling if you can't seem to agree on these issues.

Avoid Deviating from Your Parenting Schedule

As co-parents, you will have your own parenting schedules arranged, and it's best if you stick to it. You need the children to feel that their life is still stable and secure, and sticking to your agreed and arranged schedule will go a long way in ensuring that. Remember, you are not teaching your children to be more flexible by changing your parenting schedule too often or canceling out multiple times on pre-fixed plans. Rather it is causing a disruption in their faith in you, as they will start to feel that they can't count on you to keep your word. If you must alter plans due to inevitable and unavoidable situations, you need to fairly communicate this with your co-parent as clearly as possible in order to negotiate an alternate plan that works for you both.

Summing Up

At the end of the day, you need to be able to forgive yourself and your ex. That's the only way you will be able to move on from this harrowing ordeal. And if you find the way to move ahead, you will be able to provide a more loving and secure environment for your child and provide the upbringing they deserve. So follow the tips mentioned above to achieve a smooth and workable transition from divorce to co-parenting. Best of luck!























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