Co-parenting after a divorce is never easy, especially if you have a strained relationship with your ex-spouse. During a split, concerns and stressors can start to arise, be it with regards to your ex's parenting abilities, child support or finances, or the emotional strain of conflict or resentment. While no one enters a marriage or has children with the intention of getting divorced - engaging in amicable, communicative co-parenting can not only reduce some of these stressors, but also help your children establish more secure, stable, and healthy relationships with both parents.
Developing a parenting plan is a necessary, sometimes challenging task. Your parenting plan will outline how you and your co-parent will handle potential parenting issues, as well as support the upbringing of your child(ren) following divorce. By referencing what actions to take/follow in managing different parent-to-parent and parent-to-child situations, your plan will ultimately make raising kids across separate residences easier.
In the first part of this article, we discussed the initial challenges of co-parenting; specifically, communicating the context of the divorce to your children. Because a high-conflict divorce can have negative impacts on a child, including delayed adjustment, strained parent-child relationships, anxiety, and negative coping strategies such as substance abuse, it is crucial for parents to combat these outcomes with long-term collaborative strategies made in the best interest of their children.