The aftermath of a divorce is never clean-cut, simple or easy. Everyone in the family experiences drastic changes, particularly children. One of the best ways to help children adjust is to develop a co-parenting plan.
While it is a tricky dynamic to navigate and you might think it seems impossible, it can be done. Here are some core elements of such a plan that will help your co-parenting efforts succeed.
Following the divorce, you may find yourself resorting to high-conflict communication. You must change this to be better co-parents. There are plenty of motivating factors to continue to improve communication after the split. Your kids will be happier if they are loved and supported by both parents. They also need to see their parents respecting each other. After all, they love both of you regardless of the circumstances.
2. Smooth Schedules
It will take time for your kids to adjust to the visitation schedule. They may feel anxious and frustrated at times. You can help relieve their stress by working together. When children see their parents working as a team to keep things steady and calm, they will have an easier time. Here are a few things to help visitation go smoothly:
- Inform your children of the schedule and remind them so that they can mentally prepare.
- Make sure that they know it is perfectly fine to love both parents.
- Create a healthy visitation schedule with the other parent so that your children spend a lot of time with each of you.
Your children will adjust more quickly and easily if you and the other parent work together.
3. Dealing with Conflict
The conflict between co-parents is bound to happen, but your children do not have to be collateral damage. When you take preventative steps to anticipate conflict, you can keep your kids from getting hurt. Do your best to keep your children out of your disputes. Avoid pressuring your kids to be more loyal to you than to the other parent. You may want to resolve conflicts through counseling or mediation if necessary.
Transitioning into a new family dynamic following divorce involves negotiation, compromise, and communication. Following the right guidelines and prioritizing healthy communication can minimize conflict and promote consistency. Speaking with a divorce and family law attorney may help you navigate this complicated situation.