Divorce is never easy. The process is even more complicated if you have kids because you will always be tied to your children’s other parent. Learning how to co-parent effectively can be difficult but you both need to learn how to be civil with each other for the sake of your kids. Here are three tips to help you navigate co-parenting.
Draw Up an Agreement
Whether you are just starting the separation process or have been divorced for several years, it is important to put all of your agreements in writing. Drawing up a separation agreement Tampa can help you both know what to expect from the arrangement. You should decide on a custody arrangement and know how you will transport kids between houses. You also need to have in writing who is authorized to make medical decisions and who is the primary emergency contact person. Finally, it is a good idea to decide how you will claim the children on taxes when the time comes. Having all of this information written down keeps you from arguing over it later.
Be Willing To Compromise
You and your ex will probably clash on a lot of decisions. If you aren’t willing to compromise, you will make co-parenting nearly impossible. For example, if your kids are allowed to do something at your ex’s house and that same activity is off-limits at your house, your kids may have problems understanding boundaries. Punishments need to be consistent and you should try to stick to your custody schedule as much as possible so kids know what to expect. However, you also need to know when to pick your battles. If you only allow 30 minutes of screen time a day before bed and your ex gives your kids two hours of screen time a day, you may want to let the battle go in favor of fighting for limited sugar and junk food.
Speak Positively About Your Ex
Your kids are always watching. It is important to speak positively about your ex whenever the children are around so they don’t feel caught in the middle between two feuding parents. You don’t have to sing your ex’s praises, but keeping negative comments to yourself goes a long way.
It takes time and patience to learn how to co-parent effectively. If you are willing to use these three tips, you can learn how to navigate the divorce process without having a negative impact on your kids.