Even though it can be a relief to get a divorce, if you have children together your ex will be in your life for a long time. For your sanity and for the sake of the kids, you have to find a way to get along so you can co-parent successfully. Here are some do's and don'ts of co-parenting:
- Keep it positive; when you take the high road, you won't say something that you regret, and it won't come back to haunt you.
- Think about the consequences of your actions, especially as they pertain to your children.
- Sit down with your ex, and set boundaries together.
- Get your ex's agreement to set aside your differences and focus on the task at hand: raising happy, emotionally stable children.
- Agree with your ex to not say anything bad about each other to your children. Also, agree on a zero tolerance policy about your children speaking disrespectfully about the other parent.
- If there's a problem, don't jump to conclusions. Instead of condemning each other, talk about what happened and compare notes before making any assumptions.
- Get your ex's agreement to keep each other informed whenever there is a change in life circumstances; for example, a new boyfriend or girlfriend. This way, the children are never the primary source of information.
- Never engage in acts of "parental alienation." Your child needs and deserves two loving parents in their life.
- Don't use your child as a pawn to manipulate or hurt your ex.
- Don't try to buy your child's love and affection by having no rules or consequences for bad behavior.
- Don't make your child a spy or a messenger.
- Never force your child to choose sides.
- Don't overindulge your child when it comes to materialism.
- Don't tell your child that your ex doesn't love them or that your ex left your family for a new love interest, even if it's true.
Contact a Los Angeles divorce attorney from Claery & Green, LLP for a free consultation!