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Essential factors of successful co-parenting

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2023 | Divorce & Family Law

A divorce will force you to forfeit marital property and assets you do not want to give up. You cannot keep everything you acquired with your spouse while you were married, nor can your spouse. But nothing can be worse than losing custody of your children. The court will decide who gets custody when the parents cannot agree on the terms.

In Virginia, the court wants to ensure the children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents unless either has a history of violence or substance abuse. Thus, joint custody is usually the default arrangement. Here are essential things to consider that can help your co-parenting journey.

Treat your former spouse as a co-parent, not your ex

When you and your spouse file for divorce, it may be because you grew to hate each other. It is never an easy experience to deal with your former partner, especially when you end on bad terms. But you are still the parents of your children, so set aside your differences and treat each other with respect.

Learn to communicate

Communication is vital to maintaining any healthy and continuing relationship. It is more than just speaking to your ex and getting your point across. You and your co-parent must learn to listen. You could have different parenting styles, which can induce unnecessary conflict. If you can communicate with each other effectively, you will learn to resolve amicable solutions and mitigate disputes whenever they arise.

Avoid criticizing or badmouthing your co-parent

No matter how much you dislike your spouse, do not criticize them or fight with them in front of your children. Do not say bad things about your spouse to your children even when they are not present. It will put your children in an uncomfortable situation. They will learn to resent you or their other parent and develop negative behaviors and thoughts.

Take care of your physical and mental health

Co-parenting is not easy, so you must focus on healing yourself. Hurt people tend to cause more harm to other people than good. Try to form a support system and do not shy away from seeking professional help when necessary.

Fulfill your parental obligations

Whatever happens, always fulfill your responsibilities as a parent. Child custody arrangements can change, and one parent may want to fight for sole custody when the relationship becomes rocky. You want to prove to the court and your children that you deserve legal and physical custody, regardless of whether it is sole or joint.