Divorce can be a contentious process. Couples that share children may have particularly intense emotional responses to divorce proceedings because they cannot make a clean break. Their shared children will effectively force the couple to see one another frequently for custody exchanges.
These arrangements may be beneficial for the children in the long run, but they can cause a lot of stress and conflict for the family, especially in the early stages of divorce. Applying the following three rules to your co-parenting relationship can help you reduce the disputes that arise between you and your ex.
The children should always be the focus
Yes, your feelings are valid and absolutely matter. Also, expressing those feelings to your ex in front of the children may do more harm than good.
It will benefit the entire family if you can keep the focus of your interactions with your ex on the children. Minimizing how much you interact with each other and only talking about important matters regarding the children during the custody change can help limit the conflict between you and your ex.
Put your most important rules in writing
Your parenting plan can address anything you feel it important. The more detail you have in your parenting plan, the easier it will be for you and your ex to provide the children with consistent parenting and the less likely you are to fight over minor parenting matters.
Know when to take action
There are times when you should let things go and be the bigger person. There are also times when you need to stand up for yourself or for your children. If you worry about your children’s safety when they are with your ex or if they report verbal abuse or neglect occurring at the other home, you can’t ignore those issues.
Although the family courts often prefer to see parents working together cooperatively, they also want the arrangements they set to protect the children. If you can show that the current custody plan endangers the children, you can potentially go back to court for a modification that could help protect your kids.
Trying to set your family up for lower-conflict custody arrangements and keeping the focus on the well-being of your children will benefit everyone in the family unit, including you and your ex.