An unfortunate but common outcome of a divorce that involves children is the struggles of co-parenting. This process is rarely easy and is full of ups and downs, but the main goal to keep in mind is that this is for the sake of your children. Even if the parents fall out of love, the love and bonds they share with their children don’t change. While you as the parents may be having a hard time handling the divorce, it is important to remember that this is just as hard if not harder on your children. They grew up in a home with two parents and the memories made together are there forever. Now, they are having to prepare to share their time with separated parents at separate locations. Not to mention the children may not want to pick between either parent to live with, and will want to still have everyone live together. Here are a few things to consider after finishing a divorce and to prepare to co-parent your children.
Consider the feelings of the children
Children who grow up with divorced parents are statistically more likely to have a harder time in school and life as they are growing up. This includes challenges with how they handle their emotions and react to others. Because of this, it is necessary to make sure to check in on how your child is feeling and doing throughout the divorce process and afterwards. They will need some time to get used to this new way of living and they need to know their parents, even though they are separated, are there for them and will support them.
Scheduling to make sure children spend time with both parents
Even though the parents are separated, it is key for a child’s development to still spend time with both of them even if it’s at different times. Both parents must figure out the best way regarding scheduling, work time, vacations, etc., to give the children an even as possible amount of time to experience things with each parent that they used to do all together. The court will officially give the rules and regulations when it comes to co-parenting time-wise and you must follow them. If there is any disagreement on what the court orders, then that is where a lawyer or attorney will come in handy to help you show your ex where they are out of line, or, if the order is no longer helpful to you because of major changes in your life, the children’s lives or your ex’s life, to file paperwork and try to get it changed.
If you want the judge to change the court order, then you will be required to show proof that something major has happened and that changing it would be in the best interest for the children. The best way to do this is to record as much as possible in an organized fashion. Use a calendar to note which days the children are with you or with the other parents, and how often the other parent changes their mind or doesn’t keep their end of the court order. Screenshot all text messages and emails you have with your ex regarding the children. Save any voicemails about the children from your ex. Consider also having a notebook that includes what days the other parent called the children to spend time on the phone with them. Take pictures and videos of anything you deem inappropriate or unacceptable as a parent. These measures will help to show the judge that you care about the safety and health of your children and will give you the best chance possible at getting the court order changed in your favor.
The best case scenario of divorcing with children is that both parents maturely get along and make sure that the happiness and safety of their children are both of their top priorities. These suggestions will help you and your spouse tackle that challenge and prepare you for if it doesn’t work out the best way possible.