Co-parenting is a complicated matter, especially after a contentious divorce. Working with your ex-spouse on parenting issues when the separation is still fresh can feel like a steep climb of Mount Everest proportions. But as a parent, separating those feelings is crucial to establishing trust in your new co-parenting relationship.
You’re not alone in this struggle. We understand the pain of having your kids all the time, to only half the time–but it doesn’t have to feel this way forever. As you and your co-parent build that trust and grow into your new co-parenting roles, the light at the end of the tunnel will shine brighter and brighter.
Learn how you can establish a solid foundation of trust with your co-parent, and consult the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens to draft a parenting plan for your Orange County divorce.
Ensure You’re On the Same Page
Following a conflictual divorce, you may not be so thrilled to speak with your ex-spouse. Parenting discussions can be painful to conduct, and separate parenting styles are often a contributing factor in Orange County divorce cases. Still, having an open discussion about both of your parenting goals is a necessary first step. By getting on the same page about how you’ll parent moving forward, you’ll feel more at ease when the kids are out of your hands.
These conversations often take place during divorce proceedings. Whether you’re opting for litigation or mediation, you’ll likely develop a parenting plan as part of your custody agreement. Even if your communication is strained, work with your partner during this time to establish a parenting plan that’s beneficial to all parties involved–including your children.
Establish a Conflict Resolution Plan
When it comes to divorce, conflict is often just around the corner. Maybe your spouse kept the kids one day too long or refuses to pick them up from school out of negligence. These types of parenting disputes can be deeply emotional and triggering. Staying calm may be tough, but try to keep a level head and establish a plan for resolving those conflicts. That way, you’ll have a plan to turn to whenever another fire needs extinguishing.
In times of conflict, don’t retaliate. Focus on resolving the problem at hand rather than punishing your spouse for their mistake. Most importantly, establish a common goal. If conversations get emotional or in the weeds, you’ll have a concrete goal to redirect the discussion back to. An outline of who’s responsible for what parenting decisions is another great way to ease these conflicts.
For example, your spouse could have the final say on educational decisions, but you decide on their religious upbringing, while medical decisions are made jointly. Keep in mind that the same conflict resolution techniques won’t work for all families. If one strategy isn’t making any progress, work with your partner to find an approach that suits your family dynamic.
Consult a Divorce Mediator
Closely following a divorce, emotions are still fresh, and tensions are likely high. Given the newness of your separation, it may be difficult to collaborate with your ex-spouse just yet. And if your marriage has a history of abuse or domestic violence, directly working with your ex-spouse may not be an option. Turning to a professional is always advised if conflict resolution has proved too difficult.
Many co-parents opt for divorce mediation to draft their parenting plans, as a skilled divorce mediator is able to ease marital conflict and establish a more collaborative environment. Other co-parents find therapy and family counseling to be beneficial for smaller disputes and communication issues. A family lawyer is also a great resource for establishing a healthy co-parenting relationship, as they’re often able to conduct mediation sessions as well. This is the case at the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, as Jennifer is an Orange County divorce attorney with a focus on mediation services.
Jennifer Owens, Esq.: Orange County Divorce Attorney
Have you attempted to collaborate with your co-parent to no avail? Consult an Orange County divorce attorney such as Jennifer Owens, Esq. At the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, we revel in the power of choice. When spouses face divorce, they’re presented with a slew of decisions with a handful of potential outcomes. Our attorneys are believers in the best possible outcome, where a former couple chooses peace over destruction so that they can finally move on to their next chapter. No matter your desired path – mediation, a negotiated settlement, or even litigation – The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens will help you achieve the best possible outcome by reaching a settlement that keeps all involved parties in mind. Visit our website to review our family law services, or contact us online for a free consultation.