After the dust settles from a divorce, many parents face a new challenge: dealing with their former spouse in the capacity of a co-parent. While the emotional aspects of the divorce will fade over time, the practical realities of raising children with separated parents will remain. Even if it may seem like an impossible situation, millions of families have raised happy and healthy children in this fashion, and your family can do the same.
Today, our divorce and family law attorneys will be discussing some useful "do's and don't's" when it comes to co-parenting.
Morris County Divorce Attorneys: The "Do's" of Co-Parenting
Before giving any tips on parenting, it is important to understand that each family is unique, each child is unique, and only you and your children's other caretakers can decide on what is best. With that in mind, we will start with our first recommendation:
- Be empathetic. The pain of divorce and the separation you feel from your children is an enormous burden. Keep in mind that your former spouse is likely experiencing much of the same. When you are engaging in potentially difficult conversations, remember that both parties ultimately want what is best for your children
- Communicate. If you have a strained relationship with your co-parent, establish ground rules for communication and stick to them. Never let your personal issues in the way from full and open communication about your children
- Parent Consistently. Everyone in this situation wants to be the "fun" parent. Children may ask parents repeatedly to stay up later, have that extra bowl of ice cream, etc, but they ultimately are best served with a structured routine at both family homes. This is not only great in a practical sense, but also gives children the comfort of knowing what to expect, which is extremely important in a time of great change
- Be yourself. Sticking to the agreed-upon methods of parenting is critical, but you also should feel comfortable having a great time with your kids and showing them that mom or dad is actually a pretty fun person to be around!
Chester Co-Parenting Dispute Lawyers Discuss What to Avoid
Avoiding potentially harmful and damaging behavior is equally important to the tips our Chester co-parenting dispute lawyers lawyers laid out above. Children are sensitive to the emotional signals given off by the parents in their lives, particularly when they are already aware of the tension in the family. Here are some actions we recommend you avoid with the end goal of making everyone's life a bit easier:
- Overindulging your children. Many co-parents find themselves in the situation where they suddenly see their children two days a week rather than seven. This can lead to giving your children everything they want and not saying "no" in order to make them happy. As discussed earlier, children may want immediate satisfaction, but they are better served with structure and enforced rules
- Assuming the worst about your former spouse. This can pertain to many things. Young children say the darnedest things, and not everything they say is true. Whether your child told you he met Odell Beckham Jr. over the weekend or that mommy has a new friend staying at the house, it might be best to double check the facts before jumping to conclusions
- Straying from agreed upon parenting terms. This is true in either direction. Both co-parents are responsible for adhering to the terms to which they have agreed. If you have reason to believe your co-parent is not holding up their end of the bargain, bring it up in a respectful and neutral manner
Contact our Morristown Divorce and Family Law Attorneys Today
At The Law Offices of Laufer, Dalena, Cadicina, Jensen & Bradley, our divorce and family law attorneys have seen just about every type of parental dispute in our many years of legal experience. Our attorneys understand that each family dynamic must be approached differently, and we take pride in offering white glove legal service as we have done for decades for clients in local Northern New Jersey communities including Morristown, Mendham, Chester, Chatham, Morris Plains, Harding, Morris Township, and all of Morris County. Our qualified legal staff includes thirteen lawyers who have been selected for inclusion on the Thompson Reuters Super Lawyers and/or Super Lawyers Rising Stars list.
Call our Morristown offices by dialing 973.975.4043 or contact us online today to discuss any disputes you may have regarding child custody, child support, grandparent visitation, or any other family law matters.