What are the five potential issues when co-parenting after a divorce. While divorces are tough in general, they tend to be much more difficult if the couple have children. In addition to coming to terms with their divorce, divorced parents are also tasked with overcoming the obstacle of navigating how to raise their children as co-parents, while living separate lives within separate homes. Co-parenting allows parents to share the responsibility of raising their children even after separating, which is much easier said than done. Five potential issues that parents may face when co-parenting after a divorce in Shelby County can be remembered as the 5 C’s, which include: communication, competition, change, control, and controversy.
The first issue that may arise when co-parenting after a divorce deal with communication. Communication is one of the most important aspects of co-parenting, yet it is one of the most common issues that arises between co-parents. It may be uncomfortable having to talk to your former spouse after divorcing, but if the couple have children, then this is practically unavoidable. Divorced parents need to make open, respectful communication a priority when co-parenting. They should specify their preferred point of contact, and they should agree to be respectful with the time of day, frequency, and content of their communications. The parents should refrain from blocking and bad-mouthing each other. Instead, they should have calm discussions and avoid making any accusations.
The second issue that may arise is competition between the parents due to resentment. An unhealthy competition may occur when one parent gives more gifts, time, and attention to the child than the other parent is able to give. Parents do not need to be “showing the other one up” because this will make their child feel like a pawn in their game. It could even result in low self-esteem for the child.
The third issue that co-parents may experience is change. When parents get divorced, the entire family will have to adapt to all the changes that follow the divorce. For children, it may seem like their family has split apart over night, so parents should work on creating some consistency for them. This can be done by setting a schedule or routine and enforcing it as best as they can. If at all possible, the parents should also try to agree on one parenting style, which may include the child’s diet, bedtime, homework routine, or discipline. They may also want to discuss which extended family members or visitors are allowed to see their children while spending time with the other parent.
The fourth issue, control, may also occur when parents switch to co-parenting after their divorce. Up until the divorce, the parents probably had almost constant control of and contact with their child, so it can be hard for them to relinquish and adjust to that loss of control. This is especially true for the parent that was the main caregiver. However, the parents cannot micromanage each other, so giving up that total control is just part of co-parenting.
The fifth issue that is possible when co-parenting after an online divorce is controversy. It may be tempting to argue over every little disagreement, but divorced parents should treat each other like a business partner. They should be professional and courteous, and they should try to keep their conversations brief rather than drawing an issue out. If the parents are able, they should try to approach each parenting decision as a team. It is best for their children if they can be on the same page and avoid making any rash decisions. When co-parenting, parents should be civil, and they should cooperate and collaborate on as much as they can for the sake of their children.
Co-parenting after a divorce is a whole different world compared to parenting as a married couple. Both parents should be mindful that it will be a learning experience, and they should try to be as understanding as possible. Their children will appreciate all their efforts, and it will help the family begin to move forward together.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, probate, and real estate closings on this website. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply feedback. We appreciate our readers & love to hear from you!