It may not always sound like a fairy tale ending, but there is an adult way to end a relationship should the romance fizzle or the connection evaporate. It’s an unfortunate part of growing up – but we can grow apart. Many couples who marry and have children try to make the best of a situation they know is inevitably broken. But just because the marriage dissolves doesn’t mean that the relationship has to dissolve into bitter disputes over child care and child support. In fact, we are here to make sure that you can make your co-parenting smart and responsible with these simple steps.
- Make sure your children have a positive view of your ex: It goes without saying that when many couples separate, the rose colored glasses come off. What were once lovable quirks become intolerable habits. But with separation, it’s crucial that the children see the ex as someone worthy of being respected. Established respect lets your ex know that you still see them as a valuable part of their children’s life. Trying to cut them out or belittle them only leads to animosity – and it makes everything from visitation to child support that much more difficult. Making sure that your children know that your ex is still a good person, and that you weren’t good together – is key to good co-parent.
- Make each other’s lives easier: Does your ex have somewhere he needs to be on a Friday night, but it was his turn with the kids? Do you really need a night away from the kids to just be alone? If the answers to these will ever be a yes (and they will be), understand that good co-parenting is about making sacrifices for one another. While selfishness might be the easy route, developing good will and honest communication about needs – and what will make your life easier – is the best foundation for supporting your children.
- Understand your ex’s strengths: Are you good at working on school work with the kids, but don’t like doing outdoor activities? And this is something your ex enjoys? Then try to schedule your routines and obligations around what you’re good at. Don’t try to take it all on yourself. This is a surefire way to burn out – or create animosity when you see your ex excelling at something that takes you forever to achieve. Know your exes strengths and your life will be a lot easier to co-parent.
Co-parenting can be difficult. We understand that. Even more to the point, if you’re co-parenting across state lines, such as California and Nevada, it can get trickier. What you don’t want is your relationship devolving into negativity and hostility, and only talking if a child support payment is late. With our tips, you will find a way to develop a better connection, and learn to co-parent together – even when you’re separated.