Tips for Successful Co-Parenting after Your Virginia Divorce
Going through a divorce is a major life-changing event in itself, but if there are minor children involved, it can be even more difficult. You are now forced to learn how to co-parent with someone you once loved and who likely said and/or did some ugly things during your divorce. This is especially troubling for parents who had a high-conflict divorce. However, you have to figure out a way to put your differences aside and work together for your children’s sake.
Here are some tips to help you ease into this new phase of your life and learn to effectively co-parent together.
Communicate with Your Children
You may think the divorce only affected you and your ex, but children are really affected by their parents getting divorced. Sit down and talk to them. Reassure them that they are loved by both of you and that you are there if they want to talk about how this whole process has made them feel. Don’t use this as an opportunity to badmouth your ex and try to convince your child to dislike their other parent. Divorce can be a long-term event when it comes to processing it for a child. You may have to keep reassuring them over time and let them see that you and your ex can be cordial.
Have a Comprehensive Parenting Plan
Having a comprehensive parenting plan in place at the time of finalizing the divorce can help guide you through the start of the co-parenting process by having guidelines to follow. For example, set up pick up and drop off times for the parental switch.
Make sure you both follow the same routines for your children. If your ex grounded your son for doing something, then you should also keep him grounded. If you make your daughter go to bed every night before 10 p.m. on school nights, then your ex should not let her stay up all night watching television on a school night.
Learn How to Work with Your Ex
Having a rigid parenting plan is great, but you also need to work with your ex as well. If he or she calls and needs to try and switch weekends or can’t do a pick up at a certain time one week, be flexible if you can. If you don’t have anything going on, help them out by agreeing to the weekend switch or school pick up. This can go a long way if you need something down the line.
Curb Your Emotions
It’s understandable that you have a wide range of emotions after the divorce. This can be compounded when you have children. However, it is important to make sure you learn how to curb your emotions, especially any residual anger. Also, it bears repeating. Do not badmouth your ex. Criticizing him or her repeatedly will not help. Don’t get your children involved in grown-up issues either. For example, if your ex is late on child support, don’t ask your child to talk to the “deadbeat” co-parent demanding the money.
Contact a Virginia Family Law Attorney
If you need assistance with your Florida divorce or are having custody issues in Virginia, please contact a Leesburg divorce attorney at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC today to schedule an initial consultation.