When your marriage produces children, divorce becomes that much more complicated. There are of course the legal issues like parenting time, custody, and child support to work out, but you also have to remember that your kids are just kids. They don’t need to be involved in the nitty-gritty details of your divorce. Even though you’re legally ending your union, you and your ex-spouse will always have a relationship because of your children. You can make the best of a difficult situation by developing and honoring rules for healthy co-parenting.
This seems like a no-brainer, but when a divorce is far more contentious than amicable, good communication is typically the first thing to go. You can’t expect your divorce lawyer or a judge to be the mediator when your child has a problem with bullies or bad grades. These are issues for parents to manage with each other. You don’t have to talk with your ex face-to-face every time there is a concern about your children. Use text or email to keep the lines of communication open and don’t shut the other person down. Your children are the ones who will suffer most if you put up a wall just for the sake of being spiteful or because you still harbor ill will toward your ex-spouse.
2. Treat your children as children
An extension of the directive to communicate with your ex, this tip simply means that you are the adult and your children are the kids. Let them act their age and live their lives without putting the onus on them to relay specific messages to your former spouse. It’s not their job to talk to your ex about money, for example. If you have concerns about issues such as child support, talk to your Michigan divorce attorney about income withholding. Don’t trash talk your ex to your children either – you’re both still the parents and authority figures. Demeaning each other will only sour relationships across the board – your kids don’t deserve that kind of stress.
3. Develop a schedule
When your children are in school, parenting time can become very complicated. Will they have two of everything at each home? Will they need certain school supplies on certain days of the week? What’s the daily routine? Who’s picking up the kids and when? What’s the school calendar? Make sure your child’s school knows to communicate with both parents but, again, don’t expect them to do the lion’s share of the communicating. Develop a schedule with your ex and agree to go over it with your children and stick to it.
If you and your ex are having trouble co-parenting your children amicably, then maybe a mediator is necessary. When you have concerns about your former spouse’s accountability, be sure to ask your divorce lawyer to develop a divorce settlement that legally requires both parties to care properly for your children financially, emotionally, and physically. Contact Michigan Divorce Help in Mt. Clemens, MI, to schedule your no-cost initial interview and get answers to all of your divorce questions.