Needing to see your ex every few days when you exchange custody can be difficult. Thinking about sharing all of your holidays and special events with someone who hurt or disappointed you also probably doesn’t seem pleasant right now.
Co-parenting isn’t always easy, but it is typically what is best for your children. No matter how strongly you may feel about your ex, they are still the other parent of your children. When you divorce, shared custody or co-parenting is the likeliest outcome. There are some things that you can do to make it easier to work together with your ex.
Work through your emotions so that you can keep the focus on the children
Divorce is a traumatic end to something that you had previously hoped would last the rest of your life. Even if it is the best decision for you and the rest of the family, you may have powerful negative emotions like grief or anger to work through.
There are many ways for you to handle the emotional fallout of divorce, ranging from artistic expression to counseling. What matters is that you find what works for you so that you can release all of those feelings and move on with your life.
If you aren’t in control of your emotional experience, you will have a hard time interacting with your ex in a healthy manner. When you set the emotions aside, it can be easier to let the needs of your children dictate how you interact with your ex.
Try to build a new relationship based on your shared responsibilities
If you can only view your former spouse as someone who has hurt or disappointed you, it would be very hard to work with them as co-parents. You have to find a way to let go of your image of them as your spouse and start looking at them as the parent of your children.
Ideally, you can develop a friendly relationship where you can depend on one another and accommodate each other. When co-parents are flexible and support each other to work as a unit, they are often much more successful in their parenting efforts.
Don’t leave things to chance with a mediocre parenting plan
All of the good intentions in the world can go to waste if you and your ex don’t see eye-to-eye about your parental obligations. Creating a thorough parenting plan that addresses everything from your vacation time to your children’s curfews ensures that you have the same priorities and expectations for the co-parenting process.
Although hiccups along the way are inevitable, keeping the focus on your children and on supporting each other in this new capacity can make this transition to shared custody easier for your family.