Divorce is hard. Divorcing when you have minor children living at home can be even harder, but fortunately there are things you can do to make co-parenting easier. In our experience, divorce does not have to leave a lasting impact on a couple’s children, which we’ll explain below.
Essentially, when divorcing parents work together as a team to establish a healthy co-parenting relationship, it makes all the difference in their children’s lives. Usually, when divorced spouses are able to show a united parenting front despite the divorce, their children do much better than if their parents were constantly at war.
If you’re headed toward divorce and you have children with your spouse, here’s our advice on creating a healthy and productive co-parenting relationship:
- Starting now, treat your soon-to-be-ex with respect even if it’s hard to be in the same room with him or her.
- Don’t talk about your divorce on social media and don’t switch your status from “married” to “single” or “it’s complicated” on Facebook until the divorce is official.
- Treat your divorce as a business transaction and leave your emotions out of it. You may not like the people you do business with but you still treat them with decency and respect. Do the same for your spouse.
- Don’t badmouth your spouse to your children.
- Don’t use your children to obtain information about your spouse.
- Don’t make plans through a child under the age of 12. Instead, discuss plans directly with your spouse. For older children 12 and over, confirm any plans with your spouse asap.
- Discuss dating during or after the divorce with your spouse and make sure you’re on the same page. It may be best to hold off on any dating until the divorce is over.
- If and when you begin dating, don’t introduce your “dates” to your children until it’s been at least six months and you’re in a committed relationship.
- Don’t go out on dates on your night with the kids.
- Be flexible with your former spouse about scheduling and expect him or her to do the same.
- Be on time with pickups and drop-offs.
- Keep your former spouse in the loop with all parent-teacher conferences and extracurricular activities.
- If possible, live close (within 10 minutes driving distance) to your former spouse so it will be easy to see your children regularly.
- Don’t alienate your children from their other parent. Remember, children are entitled to having two loving parents in their lives. Nobody should ever rob them of that right.
- When you drop off your kids, make sure they are clean, well-rested and fed.
- Speak nicely about your former spouse’s extended family around your children.
- If your former spouse starts a new relationship, treat their new partner with respect as this makes everything easier on everybody.
If you are looking for a San Diego divorce attorney to represent you during your divorce, contact us at Claery & Hammond, LLP for a free case evaluation.