Problem-solving tips for you and your co-parent

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2021 | Child Custody

Parenting isn’t easy when spouses are happily married, so it’s understandable when a separation or divorce leads to turmoil over custody and visitation matters.

While the end of a marriage can lead to bitter or hurtful feelings between ex-spouses, both of you owe it to your children to put those feelings aside and work in their best interests.

Two types of problem-solving

Peaceful co-parenting requires open communication, empathy and patience, which may seem impossible for many in high-conflict marriages. Regardless of the current relationship with your ex, two basic approaches exist for solving co-parenting issues:

  • Strategic: This method is straightforward for co-parents who don’t get along, focusing only on the matter at hand and avoiding any underlying emotional issues. You and your co-parent identify the problem and work toward a solution objectively.
  • Social-psychological: Not all former spouses dislike each other. This method digs a little deeper into the emotional reasons that can lead to co-parenting conflicts, which can help avoid future problems or lessen negative feelings.

The social-psychological approach can be challenging for many former spouses to attain. There’s no need for alarm if it’s not for you, as the strategic method works well for high-conflict co-parents.

Tips to keep the peace

When co-parenting issues arise, keep these tips in mind:

  • Your children come first: Focus on the best outcome for them. Create two loving households and protect them from any bad feelings you may have for your co-parent.
  • Don’t think of your ex as the enemy: Continued hostility towards your co-parent puts your children at risk for long-term emotional and behavioral problems.
  • Choose your battles wisely: Don’t turn minor issues into major conflicts. Always try to protect your kids from disputes with the other parent.
  • Child-focused communication: Both of you love your kids and want what’s best for them. If you have a strained relationship, limit your interactions only to discussing your children.

Craft a solid parenting plan

It’s advisable to consult an experienced family law attorney who can do much of the heavy lifting by helping you devise a comprehensive parenting plan. While your marriage may be over, both of you can find comfort in working together to forge the best possible future for your kids.