By Gerri Elder
A breakdown of communication often is a factor in the decision to divorce. Ex-spouses' ability to communicate with each after divorce other typically doesn't improve; however, if there are children involved, parents will need communication. Ex-spouses should try to put aside differences so they can work together to raise the children.
In most cases, divorce courts favor joint child custody, with both parents playing an active role in raising the children. To effectively co-parent children after divorce, parents should try to work together. Working out an acceptable co-parenting plan can be a daunting project when you can't stand to even look at your soon-to-be-ex, but you must realize the parenting plan is not about you.
Your divorce lawyer can assist you in negotiating aparenting agreement if you can't communicate directly with your spouse during the divorce. As the divorce issues are settled and anger and frustrations begin to fade away, you may find it easier to deal with your ex-spouse.
Your co-parenting plan should detail each parent's rights and responsibilities, leaving little room for miscommunications. When parents can come to an agreement about how they will co-parent their child, it can greatly reduce stress and post-divorce tension.
After divorce, a little flexibility in scheduling may go a long way in creating and maintaining a peaceful and respectful parenting arrangement. Parents who place their child's well-being above all else can often find a way to work together to raise their children.
Co-parenting after divorce can also be an opportunity for personal growth. By making the decision to let go of issues that no longer matter after divorce, you can become a happier person, which in turn can make you a more effective parent and positive role model for your child.
Although the temptation to win arguments from long ago may still be hard to resist, it's of no benefit to you or your child to continue the conflict. Co-parenting should be viewed as a situation where everyone is a winner.
In communicating with your ex-spouse, you should be polite and professional. There may still be times when you disagree on issues regarding your child, but it is to your advantage to remain calm, remember that you are adults, and work through any problems that arise.
If there are issues that cannot be resolved through communications with your ex-spouse, or if your ex-spouse refuses to communicate at all, you may wish to petition the divorce court to modify child custody. By speaking with a local divorce lawyer, you can determine the appropriate course of action.
If you chose to petition the court to modify child custody and no agreement with your ex-spouse can be reached, you will likely have to go to court and show the judge evidence as to why the order should be modified.
Since this can be a stressful experience, it's probably best if parents make sure the initial co-parenting agreement is one they can live with, provides for some flexibility and serves the best interest of the child.