Once you decide to divorce, you become acutely aware of how many other couples have divorced prior to your decision. It may even start to feel like everyone is working on their second or third marriage. However, while divorce has been normalized, the difficulty of co-parenting and the effort required to make it work are rarely discussed. That is a mistake because successful co-parenting is possible, if the Newport Beach, California, ex-spouses are willing to put in the work.
Decide upfront to work together
You both should talk about co-parenting early, and you both should agree to do whatever it takes to make it work. In other words, agree to be agreeable, even if the divorce is contentious. This upfront agreement can go a long way to starting out on the right foot.
Learn to communicate and understand each other
Talk about and enter family therapy as soon as possible. Therapy will help you learn the most important skill for successful co-parenting, communication. More importantly, it will help you learn how to communicate with each other, and maybe gain some sense of understanding that will make co-parenting easier.
Keep communication private and send confirmations
Never send messages through your children, and never disagree in front of them. Have disagreements over the phone away from your kids, or in person, outside of their earshot. In addition, after you talk, send a confirmation through text or email to confirm that you understand what you both agreed to.
Make plans and stick to them
Your kids have an inherent belief that the way things are is the way they will be forever. Stability and consistency are imperative to your child’s well-being, which is why you need to make sure you create that when you co-parent. Make your parenting plan and stick to it.
Of course, there is no guarantee that this will work. You may still end up in Orange County litigation, but starting out with an agreement to work together, figuring out how to communicate with each other and then, working toward a successful co-parenting relationship will, hopefully, help.