Divorce is the end of your marriage and just the beginning of a new phase of your relationship if you have children. This may not be what you want to hear, but the sooner you come to terms with this fact, the better off you and your children will be. Working with a mediator can help you resolve issues that come up after the terms of your divorce are final without having to go through the court system. The court is simply not set up to manage all of the changes that come up in families that alter settlement and/or custody agreements. AMS Mediation can help you resolve these issues with less stress and conflict, all while putting your children first. Here are some tips for effective co-parenting after divorce:
● Focus on clear and business-like communication: Now that you and your ex are living separate lives, it is time to try to communicate in a different way. Rather than letting emotion and anger fuel your communication, rely on clear and even business-like communication to discuss logistics about timing of drop-offs, bedtime and other routine issues. Think of your communication as more transactional now that you are living independently.
● Do not talk negatively about your ex to your kids: Your kids love both you and your ex so it can be extremely difficult for them to understand how to process negative talk. Instead, try to focus on your relationship with your children and let you ex focus on his. This is a difficult task but working hard to minimize any negativity around your kids can help them cope with the difficult changes in their lives.
● Be flexible and open to change if it is in the best interest of your kids: As your kids grow, their needs will change. When they express opinions about logistics of who they spend time with, try to listen to them and support their openness. You do not have to make changes that are not right for your family but make sure that your children feel heard in the co-parenting process.
● Learn to collaborate with your ex: Co-parenting is much easier when you are able to collaborate with your ex. Conflict may have been the norm in your marriage, but you will all be better off if you can work together for the good of your children.
● Find ways to channel your loneliness in a healthy way: You likely have more alone time on your hands after divorce. Consider using this time for exercise, self-care, time with friends or other hobbies.
● Listen: Try to make sure that you are truly listening to your ex and your children. This will improve communication and put you in the best position to make sound decisions.
For more information about co-parenting after divorce, you can set up time for a free one-hour consultation with AMS Mediation by calling 952-252-1492.