Co-parenting guidelines for divorcing spouses

Divorcing parents should take the time to establish co-parenting guidelines.

For married couples without children, making the decision to get a divorce typically signals an end to the relationship altogether. For married couples with children, however, that is generally not the case.

In most circumstances, a couple with children who decides to divorce will have an ongoing relationship when it comes to raising the children. Often, redefining roles following a divorce is a struggle for former spouses, especially if the dissolution was contentious.

While it may be a challenge, parents can take action to attempt to make the transition to separate households as smooth for their children as can be expected.

Act like a professional

Divorces are often emotional. As both spouses come to terms with the changing nature of their relationship, it is normal for disagreements and tension to result.

When it comes to the children, however, parents need to make significant efforts to shield their youngsters from the stress associated with the dissolution. Parents would be wise to take the time to redefine their relationship with their former spouse.

While parents no longer have joint interests as a married couple, those sharing custody should be equally invested in raising the children. In some cases, it may be helpful to view the new relationship as a business, where each party should act professionally when in contact with the other. The focus of the business is to raise healthy and happy children. As the parents must act professionally when dealing with each other, no room is left for rehashing old arguments that led to the divorce that are unrelated to the children.

Establish ground rules for communication

In many cases, deciding to act professionally when dealing with an ex is easier said than done. Consequently, it may be a good idea for parents to set guidelines for ongoing communication.

Particularly when physical custody is shared, parents will have to communicate regularly regarding the children's schedule and wellbeing. Many parents may find it challenging to limit in person conversations to matters regarding the children.

Therefore, it might be beneficial for some to communicate primarily in writing, whenever possible. Written communication is fast and efficient, allowing both parties to take time to consider their response before sending the message. As a result, it is less likely that conversations about the children will turn into arguments about past disagreements.

If you are thinking about divorcing your spouse, you should take the time to talk to a knowledgeable family law attorney, to ensure your interests are protected during the divorce. Let a legal professional worry about the details of the dissolution so you can focus on making the transition as easy as possible for your children.

Keywords: co-parent, divorce, children

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