Co-parenting might be tricky if you and your ex-wife don't get along, but that's no reason not to try. With the right support from mediators and your attorneys, you can work out a parenting plan and come together to figure out the best way to take care of your child together.
It's hard to work with someone who is no longer your spouse. There are often hurt feelings or negative emotions that come up when ex-spouses see each other, so it's no surprise that there might be some arguments or contentious behavior between both of you. Despite this, you're the father of your children, and you and their mother need to work together to come up with the best way to be in your children's lives without fighting or arguing. Here are three helpful tips for learning to work together after divorce.
Stop focusing on the past
The past is behind you, and your child's future is in your hands. Commit to a plan with your ex, so you can work together to make your child's future bright. Arrange a parenting plan with information such as drop-off times, pick-up times, scheduling information for the holidays and so on. This can help avoid unnecessary conflicts in the future.
Keep your boundaries strong
You might not want to spend more time with your ex than necessary, and that's fair. You should keep up your boundaries, whether that means using a neutral drop-off location or not calling when your child is at the other parent's home. If you respect your boundaries, then your ex should do the same. If you begin to have trouble with this, mediation or a discussion with your attorney could help you put a halt to crossing boundaries early on.
Put your child first, always
It can be tempting to talk about your ex in a negative light when you think your child isn't listening, but children are more perceptive than you may think. Co-parenting is a challenge, but that doesn't mean you should criticize your child's mother for her actions (unless they are harmful or abusive, of course). Co-parenting is in the best interest of your child, because he or she gets to spend time with you and your ex. Negative behaviors from you or her will make it harder to interact, and this hurts your child's interactions with both of you.
The first step is to discuss what your parenting plan will be after divorce. Your attorneys can help you negotiate a plan that works in your child's best interests and works well with your schedule as well as your former spouse's.