Co-Parenting During Divorce: How to Work Together for Your Children

Last updated on: August 2, 2022

Divorce can prove to be a contentious time for you and your former spouse. Dividing assets can lead to heated disagreements. If you have children, you need to figure out custody arrangements, which could heighten the tension even further. Co-parenting during divorce can prove frustrating, but here are a few tips to make it work for you and your children. Before you make any decisions, it is important to speak with a qualified Texas divorce lawyer.

#1: Let your children know about the divorce.

The first step in co-parenting during divorce is always to communicate with your children about what is happening. While you may fear their disappointment or sadness, it is often better to have this discussion earlier rather than later so your kids know what to expect.

You may choose to have this discussion with both spouses present. In this case, both of you will be able to affirm that you love them and will continue to love them. Affirm that the divorce is not their fault, and be sure to explain that the relationship with each parent will continue.

Respond to any concerns and questions they may have. This is a difficult time for everyone involved, and your children may be understandably confused or worried. Younger kids may ask the same questions repeatedly—this is their way of creating a sense of security. Be patient and be sure to keep your answers consistent.

#2: Never vent to your children about your spouse.

While it may seem frustrating, do your best to keep things cordial between you and your spouse. When co-parenting during divorce, treat each other with respect, especially in front of your kids. Leave them out of any heated discussions or arguments, and try not to argue in front of them.

Your kids should also not witness you expressing any damaging remarks about your spouse, either intentionally or unintentionally. If you need to vent, call someone you trust to express your feelings. Be sure that your kids are not within listening distance.

If you need to, approach every interaction with your spouse as though it were a business meeting. Speak to them with respect and neutrality—as though they were a colleague.

#3: Maintain as much stability as possible.

One part of your children’s world will be changing significantly. Depending on the details of the divorce, your children may be moving, changing schools, and trying to form new friendships. Their relationships with extended family may change as well.

If you are able to, keep your children’s support systems stable by allowing them to maintain their school, friends, and family ties. If these changes cannot be avoided, give your kids enough time in advance to learn about and cope with these shifts. Do not wait until the last possible moment to tell them.

When your divorce is fully implemented, you and your kids will likely need to adjust to new routines. But life will eventually seem normal again.

How will a judge decide if you are able to co-parent?

No matter how much you hate your soon-to-be ex-spouse or husband, a judge will not consider your feelings toward him or her. Instead, the judge will look at your relationship as a way to better raise your child. Now the question is: How will the judge see you and your ex as a team in raising a kid together?

The judge will likely view you and your spouse more favorably if you are able to prove that you can talk weekly on the phone about the activities of the children and changes in your work schedule which affect drop-off/pick-up time.

Is it possible for you and your ex to work together in order to make the best decision for your child’s interests? Are you willing and able to take the time to talk to your ex-spouse about the things that are affecting the child’s life? The judge will likely view you and your spouse more favorably if your spouse reports that both of you are talking weekly on the phone about child-related activities and changes in your work schedule.

Your ex-spouse should be aware that you are interested in keeping them informed about changes to a child’s lifestyle or routine. Your ex-spouse should be informed if your child has had problems with certain foods or a reaction to sunscreen. These issues are not only detrimental to your child but can also be disrespectful to the child. If you are taking time off from work to attend a school function or a doctor’s appointment, it is important that you inform the other parent immediately. It is possible to cause great animosity towards your partner if you do not notify them.

Arrange For a Divorce or Mediation

While your children will need time to adapt and cope with their feelings, the way you handle your divorce can help ease their pain or worsen it altogether—in the short- and long-run. If you need help going about your divorce in a healthy manner that benefits both you and your children, call Whitney Thompson, Esq. at (979) 318-5079 today.

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