Divorce is always challenging, but keeping an amicable relationship with your ex for the sake of your children is essential for their well-being. The name of the game is keeping the focus on your children while keeping a lid on negative emotions. Here are 10 tips for co-parenting with your ex:
- Commit to controlling your emotions. Even though you may be hurt, focusing your efforts on what your children need is more important than rehashing the past with your ex.
- Set a business-like tone. When you meet with your ex, make it clear that you are there to discuss your children, not the past. Keep the focus on your children and you’ll create a more positive post-divorce relationship.
- Negotiate hand-offs ahead of time. You and your ex should sit down and discuss how, when and where you will hand off your children for visitation, holidays, after-school events, etc. This prevents miscommunication.
- Agree on boundaries. This can be tough, but your children need consistency in discipline expectations no matter which parent they are with. Agree on boundaries with your ex (such as keeping the same bedtime) ahead of time for your children’s sake.
- Let go of control. At the same time, it can be harmful for your children if you are constantly confrontational about your ex’s parenting. Sometimes it’s better NOT to try to control everything that happens at your ex’s house. Use your discretion and “pick your battles” wisely.
- Never use children as messengers. If you have something to tell your ex regarding childcare, speak with your ex about it rather than having your children deliver the message for you.
- Never bad-mouth your ex. Your children will resent you for it later. Instead, unload any negative feelings by chatting with a friend or working through your emotions with a therapist.
- Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t jump to conclusions if your ex failed to show up for visitation. There may be a good reason for missing it, or it may have been a simple miscommunication.
- Keep your family in check. Your mom may be your best cheerleader, but if she’s constantly complaining about your ex (especially in front of your children), it’s not helping you move past your divorce.
- Don’t see your ex as a threat. Children may realize that they can manipulate a situation to get something from your ex that you won’t buy (like that new Xbox). Try not to worry about your children loving your ex more than you—years down the line you’ll see how silly that really is!
Sometimes the agreement you and your ex came up with when you divorced are no longer helpful to raising your children. When things change, your custody and support agreements need to change, too. That’s where the lawyers at Sandia Family Law can help.
Child Custody & Support Modifications in Albuquerque
Our Albuquerque, New Mexico family lawyers can help you make post-divorce modifications. If you need help understanding how to change a child custody or child support agreement, contact us at 505-247-1726 to speak with an Albuquerque family lawyer.