Ending a long-term marriage with your spouse could be the hardest thing you’ll ever do, especially if you have children. But, if you’re like most divorced parents, you only want what’s best for your kids. It’s a fact that children benefit the most when both parents remain involved in their lives, so this is a big reason why joint custody and co-parenting are possibly the most popular child custody arrangements in Minnesota today.
If you choose to co-parent, how well you cooperate with your former spouse can dictate how your children will adapt to your divorce. Co-parenting is anything but easy, and as any person who has been through a marital breakup knows, it can be a challenge to see or communicate with an ex-spouse. However, you must put the children’s well-being and best interests at the forefront, regardless of the anger or pain you feel over your divorce. Here are some ways to overcome the inevitable conflict in a co-parenting arrangement.
Stick to your parenting plan
To facilitate successful co-parenting, it is a good idea to create a parenting plan and adhere to it. The children will be transitioning between your home and the other parent’s home, so creating a plan will help everyone stay on the same page. Coming up with a detailed parenting schedule can feel like an uphill climb, but once you create the plan, you can stick to it and know you are doing your part.
Choose your battles
Emotions can get the best of anyone, especially after a divorce. Seemingly minor disagreements can quickly escalate into a full-blown argument. If you sense tension building up in a conversation or situation with your co-parent, it may be best to walk away and take some time before continuing the conversation. Irrelevant arguments will only move you further from the goal of maintaining a healthy emotional environment for the children.
Setting boundaries with the person with whom you once shared your life can be tricky. However, setting boundaries will help create a healthy distance between both you and your ex as you learn to navigate this new world of co-parenting. Examples of healthy boundaries are having set times to take your ex’s calls or emails, setting a neutral meeting place to pick up or drop off your kids and keeping your personal life private.
Your children are the top priority
Conflict with a former spouse can emotionally drain you to the point where you feel like giving up. It’s times like this when you need to remember that the relationship with your ex is over, and this is about the children now. Your children are far more important than winning arguments with your ex-spouse. When things become overwhelming, seeking professional advice is a good option to help you make informed decisions about your situation and protect your interests.