Divorce marks a big change in your life and in the lives of your children. You and your ex may now share custody of your children and have a hard time making this new arrangement work.
Even though shared parenting can be difficult, many couples in the U.S. divorce and make this transition every year (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in 2019, 746,971 divorces and annulments occurred). Understanding common co-parenting mistakes and avoiding them can also help you improve the way you and your ex share responsibilities.
1. Failing to be flexible
There may come a day after your divorce when your former spouse fails to drop your children off on time or forgets an appointment. Try and be flexible and understanding when your plans do not work out perfectly.
2. Using your children to hurt your ex
Keeping your children away from your ex or talking negatively about your former spouse in front of your children will not help your co-parenting arrangement. Do not use your children as tools to harm your ex, even if you feel angry or resentful about your divorce.
3. Not communicating effectively
The key to a successful co-parenting relationship is open, consistent communication. Come up with a plan to share information seamlessly with your ex about your children and finalize schedules.
Learning how to co-parent effectively with your ex takes time and practice. By refraining from making these common mistakes after you get divorced, you can help your children cope with this new arrangement.