Successful co-parenting through conflict

The high stress and tense emotions of divorce have a lasting impact. The process often brings out negative emotions and complicates and already damaged relationship. Divorce ends a marriage, but when both spouses have children, it doesn’t end the relationship.

Studies show that children do best in life with the presence of both parents. The Michigan family court agrees, and joint custody is the most frequent arrangement for families after divorce. This means that both parents will still interact for the greater good: their children.

Cooperation when it’s complicated

After divorce, ex-spouses are ready to begin a new life. After airing dirty laundry and exasperating the failures of the marriage, it’s hard to work together. Studies show that children do best with both parents involved, but they also show that children respond negatively when those parents can’t get along.

It requires cooperation and respect to raise your children between two homes. You’ll need to be able to schedule visits and travel, and also work together when it comes to important decisions like medical needs, education, financial planning, discipline and more.

Tips for a new relationship

Mental wellness website HelpGuide.org has compiled several tips to put relationship frustrations aside for the benefit of your children. The main tips include:

  • Don’t put your children in the middle
  • Use a business-like tone
  • Respect goes a long way
  • Don’t let small things get in the way

When building a new relationship with your ex, remember that it’s for your children. A business-like approach can help accomplish goals without revisiting past issues. Just like in business, you may not agree with everything the other side wants. However, it’s in everybody’s best interests to remain cordial and find compromises.

Evolving solutions to fit the situation

When co-parents can’t get along, the tension carries into your children’s lives, and it can have long-term effects that include anxiety and depression. A calm approach instills security in your children, setting them up for a healthier life.

While the court order includes a laid-out parenting plan, life changes and personality conflicts can quickly interrupt what looked good on paper. If your ex-spouse isn’t following through or if the agreement no longer fits your new lives, an attorney can help you modify or enforce a parenting plan that’s better suited to your post-divorce lifestyles.

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