When a child’s parents part ways from each other, they can never really go too far. Because of their child, they will remain in each other’s lives in one way or another for the foreseeable future.
In spite of how ominous that can sound, exes working together as parents isn’t a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. Healthy co-parenting isn’t always easy, but the benefits it can bear far outweigh the challenges that parents living apart can encounter.
What Does Healthy Co-Parenting Look Like?
Healthy co-parenting happens when parents can collaborate well enough to raise their child together, albeit from separate homes. This requires parents to manage their emotions appropriately and develop skills to cope with foreseeable challenges – all while doing what it takes to raise their child.
Leave the Past Behind You
Whatever caused you and your ex to part ways, it’s now in the past. What lays ahead is your child’s future and your role (and your ex’s role!) in their life as they grow up. This means you and your ex should work on moving forward from past events and grievances. That can be really hard in some cases, but allowing the past to affect the future can negatively impact your child, who is sure to pick up on the tension.
Develop a Cordial Relationship with Your Ex
If you and your ex-partner have a child together, your relationship never truly ends. While it may not resemble the romantic appearance it once had, it can – and should – morph into something that supports your child.
In many cases, that can be a cordial or business-like relationship. You don’t have to be friends with your ex if your post-romantic relationship doesn’t develop that way, but you should at least strive to cultivate a new relationship that facilitates communication and collaboration.
Think about the relationships you have with your coworkers. Chances are there’s at least someone at work who you get along with, but maybe you don’t involve them in your life outside of work. Your relationship with your ex could resemble something like this and work for the benefit of raising your child together.
Always Be Respectful
It can be hard to move past bad blood, but you should always strive to be respectful with your ex (and they should be the same with you!). That doesn’t mean avoiding disagreement and conflict, but rather approaching it from an angle that’s focused on arriving at a solution together.
If you don’t share your ex’s point of view on an aspect of raising your child together, it shouldn’t hurt to ask them to explain and consider their perspective. You can then share your point of view and ask to search for common ground to develop a compromise.
Being respectful of your ex also means respecting the relationship they have with your child. After all, how would you feel if your ex acted in a way that negatively affected your child’s relationship with you?
Support Each Other As Parents
Parenting is hard enough when parents are together, but it can be much harder if they’re apart. If nothing else, the one thing you and your ex still have in common is your child – and that’s a big responsibility to share.
There’s no good reason for parents to avoid supporting each other as parents. That means you and your ex should support your child’s relationship with each other. If one parent is actively undermining a child’s relationship with their other parent, it can cause a number of problems – not least of which is a possible modification to the child custody order.
Our Family Law Attorneys Can Help
If you are encountering a problem with your co-parenting situation, our attorneys at Claery & Hammond, LLP can help. We have a deep well of knowledge and experience that can help us address any co-parenting question or legal challenge you may have.
If you require legal representation at this time or simply wish to learn more, you can schedule a free consultation by contacting us online.