When parents divorce, they generally still want to have a meaningful relationship with their child and to see them as often as possible per their child custody order. To ensure the child custody order is honored, parents must practice co-parenting following their divorce. If their divorce was messy, this may be no mean feat. There are some ways that divorced parents can co-parent together despite their differences.
It is important that divorced parents try to agree on what expectations they should set regarding their child. This can provide stability in a child’s life during what is an unstable time. For example, curfews and bedtime should be the same no matter which parent the child is with. It can be tempting to want to be the “fun” parent, but co-parenting means you and your ex should be on the same page regarding expectations. Note that expectations between you and your ex should also be set and honored, specifically regarding the logistics of raising your child.
Set a good example
A messy divorce can be hard to deal with, and you may want to vent your anger to any listening ear. However, do not badmouth your ex to your child. Your child loves your ex just as they love you and it will hurt them to hear unkind words said about them. By setting a good example, you can teach your child that it is possible to work as a team with others, even if you have your differences.
Your child’s needs should be your top priority
It is important following a divorce to focus on the best interests of the child. This can be difficult if you have a hard time communicating with your ex. Keep your relationship with your ex business-like. You both have the same job — to raise a healthy and happy child. Even if your only communication with your ex is that which has to do with the child, this is ok. Similarly, allow your child to communicate with your ex, even if the child is in your care at the time. This can help your child have a meaningful relationship with both of you.
You can work with your ex to raise your child
While at times it may seem impossible, you can work with your ex post-divorce as you raise your child together. Divorce may mean that you and your ex no longer have a relationship with one another, but the same is not true for your child. Your child will continue to have a relationship with both you and your ex. By working together, despite your differences, you can help your child retain these relationships post-divorce.