Helpful tips for taking the stress out of shared custody

Divorce can be difficult for everyone in the family, especially the children. Although it isn't easy for parents divorcing each other, their children often need more support during and after the divorce. The more argumentative and difficult the divorce becomes, the more significant the emotional toll on the children.

Parents who can find a way to work together during their divorce and as co-parents afterward can substantially reduce the damage divorce causes to the emotional well-being of the children in the family. However, if you have reached a point in your marriage where divorce is the only option, it may be hard to find a way to relate to your ex in a healthy and positive manner.

There are a few tips that could make a big difference in your co-parenting relationship after your spousal relationship ends.

Stay positive and focused on your kids

Even if you aren't fighting with your ex, if you talk negatively about them all the time in front of the kids, that could damage their relationship. It could also add strain to your relationship with your children, as they may resent hearing negative comments about their other parent.

When you need to talk about your ex, you want to stay positive and focused on their relationship with the children, not their relationship with you. The same approach should be true of the interactions you have directly with your ex. Relate to them as a parent, not your former spouse. Keep the focus of your conversations and interactions on your children.

Work together to try to develop better parenting skills

As your children get older, you will need completely new parenting tactics to handle the challenges they present. You and your ex can work together to help one another become the most effective parents possible.

Obviously, consistency is important. Having realistic and consistent expectations between both houses will ensure that the children see their parents as a unified front and not opponents that can be played against one another.

Be flexible and supportive

If your approach to shared custody includes keeping track of how many minutes early or late your spouse is every time you exchange custody, you could quickly develop resentment. Life isn't always precise and accurate. It requires flexibility and patience. So too does a co-parenting relationship with your ex.

Try to work with them instead of taking a hostile approach. If they need to cancel or change visitation, try to support that and work with them. That way, when you need flexibility in the future, they will feel inclined to work with you. No matter how careful you are with your parenting plan, you can't cover everything.

Co-parenting is not a simple prospect after a marriage ends. You and your ex can work together to help your children have the best and happiest life possible. You simply need to keep the focus on your children and do your best to keep communications positive and healthy.

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