Parenting is a rewarding but difficult job to have. Though you and numerous other Virginia parents undoubtedly want the best for your children, you may not always feel as if you are doing a good job raising them. Of course, all parents have these concerns, and major life changes like divorce may make them even more prominent.
You and the other parent certainly put a great deal of thought into how the divorce would affect your kids. If you remain amicable toward each other, you may have even discussed various arrangements for child custody before your divorce even got fully underway. In particular, you may have hopes of co-parenting after ending your marriage.
How can you co-parent effectively?
Though co-parenting is becoming a favorable arrangement after parents divorce, it is not always easy to immediately jump into. Certainly, you and the other parent have parented together in the past, but divorce can change dynamics in significant ways. After all, you will likely each parent the children on your own more often than together, even while co-parenting. Still, if you hope to have a strong co-parenting arrangement, you may wish to consider the following tips:
- Keep your emotions under control. Even if you and the other parent remain civil toward each other, it does not mean that you will not feel angry or resentful at times.
- Maintaining open communication with the other parent is also useful. This communication allows for each of you to discuss the needs of the children without using the children as messengers.
- Set rules, disciplinary guidelines and schedules that apply at both houses. While these do not necessarily have to be exactly the same for each parent, it is important that the children do not bounce between drastically different environments.
- Make important decisions regarding the children as a team. These decisions may relate to financial needs, medical needs or even their education.
Parental relationships can change after divorce, even for parents who can still work together. Realizing that effort will need to be put into any type of custody arrangement may help the transition go more smoothly. Of course, it is still important for you to understand your rights as a parent and how state laws may influence custody outcomes, so working with your legal counsel throughout the process may be wise. This step could help you find the arrangements that work best for your family.