In most cases, family courts try to keep both parents in their children’s lives. This often means some form of shared custody or visitation.
However, due to the raw feelings involved in the divorce process, many individuals find it difficult to co-parent with their former spouses. Therefore, these are some co-parenting guidelines to follow.
Put the children first
Parents should focus on their children and their needs. Kids need to spend time with their entire families, and they need to feel supported by both of their parents. Therefore, both parents should support, spend time with and be present for their children. These adults should also support the development of their kids’ relationships with both parents. In addition, they should never fight in front of their children and should act respectfully toward one another.
Open the lines of communication
The children may not understand what is going on or how to deal with it. They likely need someone to talk to about what they feel. Parents need to remain open about the divorce or separation, and they should reassure their children that both of their parents love them and they are not at fault for their parents’ separation. In addition, prepare for grief, anger, confusion and other emotions.
Avoid putting children in the middle
Parents should never talk about their co-parents with their children in a negative manner. They should not use their children as messengers or go-betweens. They need to keep their feelings out of the process and cooperate with their former spouses. This may include private meetings and regular communication.
The most important job of co-parents is to allow their children to act like children. They should protect them from hardships, hurt feelings and challenges within the co-parenting relationship.