How to Co-Parent After Divorce

After you and your former spouse divorce, aspects of your life can drastically improve while simultaneously getting more complicated. Whenever you’re trying to juggle multiple schedules and various needs – yours, your children, and now your ex’s – things can get tough. 

The good news is that there is a way through without making you feel like you’re at wit’s end. At Collins Family Law, our Manassas divorce attorneys have supported hundreds of parents through the trying times you’re now experiencing and can now give you our tips on what to do and what to avoid. 

So, in this guide, we’ll examine the nuts and bolts of co-parenting after a divorce. After all, you and your ex are linked by the memories you experienced together and a child or children you both share. 

Do you have any questions for our Manassas family law attorneys? Call us at (703) 691-5272. Our team would be more than happy to answer them and help you with any needs you may have.

What Is Co-Parenting? 

Co-parenting is the act of shared child-rearing outside of a traditional family structure of two full-time parents. The goal of co-parenting (unless there is evidence of abuse, neglect, or violent behavior) is that both parents maintain an active role in the life of their child or the children they share. 

While it may be tempting to throw in the towel on co-parenting at times, co-parenting confers important benefits to the children involved in such arrangements. Children in beneficial co-parenting agreements

  • Feel Safe and Secure
  • Better Understand Problem Solving and Communications
  • Understand The Importance of Boundaries and Respect
  • Have Greater Stability from Consistency In Routine

So, how do you develop the co-parenting routine that allows for these types of benefits? 

Put Your Children First, Not Your Hurt Feelings

When divorcing a spouse, it’s only natural that you may experience some hurt feelings. Your feelings, like anger and sadness, toward your spouse are valid. 

However, despite your feelings’ validity, you shouldn’t process these feelings in front of your children. 

To foster a positive co-parenting environment, avoid the following behaviors around your kid:

  • Talking Poorly About Your Ex
  • Ranting or Speaking Bitterly About Your Ex
  • Asking Your Children For Advice
  • Exhibiting Feelings of Rage or Sadness 

We know it’s difficult, but your tough feelings should be discharged with a trusted adult – such as a friend, parent, or therapist. Even a pet can make a compassionate listener in a pinch, just skip expressing these emotions to or around your child. 

Develop And Respect Strong Parenting Boundaries

When deciding to co-parent your child, you and your ex-spouse must agree on what parenting habits are acceptable and what you will and won’t tolerate in your child’s behavior. 

The crucial thing here is coming to an understanding, and once that understanding is established, those boundaries should be firm. Your ex should respect your needs when you have custody of your child, and you should likewise respect what they need – even if you disagree. You must respect their choices as long as they don’t violate your boundaries.  

What To Do Next When You’re Having Trouble Co-Parenting 

If you’re having a tough time co-parenting with your ex, the family lawyers at Collins Family Law can help you. Get in touch by calling (703) 691-5272 or booking a free appointment online today.