Co-Parenting Divorce Guide

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Co-Parenting Divorce Guide

Co-parenting divorce guide. Getting started.

Spouses without children can move quickly to the next phase of their lives. If you have children, then, for the benefit of your children, you need to find a way to co-parent with your ex-spouse. Co-parenting is difficult even if you and your ex are friends. If you can’t stand the sight of your spouse, co-parenting becomes very hard. 

Help Guide has a few suggestions on co-parenting and joint custody. Our lawyers negotiate the strongest parenting plans possible – plans that help secure your child’s happiness, safety, and growth. We do request judicial oversight when necessary.

Co-parenting divorce guide – what is co-parenting?

Co-parenting means both parents are involved in their child’s life. Unless there are domestic abuse or substance abuse issues, you should want your ex involved in your child’s life. That’s healthy for your child – and for you. In New Jersey, most parents have joint legal custody which means both parents make decisions about their children’s health, education, and religious upbringing. Many parents have joint custody plans (parallel parenting plans) too – even though that usually means your child spends more time with you than your ex.

Joint custody coparenting agreement plans address many issues including:

  •       Where your child stays each day of the year including holidays and vacations.
  •       How the child is transferred between you and the co-parent.

Effective parallel parenting involves reviewing how each parent can communicate (phone and text) while your child is living with the other parent. Successful parallel parenting plans include discussion of how disputes about custody and visitation will be handled.

Co-parenting divorce guide. A few complicated areas.

Achieving a successful coparenting   plan can be very difficult. We have the skills and experience to help you address these difficult coparenting after divorce issues:

  •       Coparenting with a high conflict person. With some ex-spouses, high conflict co-parenting may seem impossible. Angry ex-spouses may be more interested in their anger with you than in raising their children. Many parents find coparenting with a narcissist or coparenting with a controlling ex impossible. Coparenting with a difficult ex often does have solutions starting with time, counseling, and strategies for keeping your distance from your ex until the conflicts settle down.
  •       Coparenting from a distance. Coparenting from different states has its pros and cons. From a distance, you can’t see or hear how your child is doing when your daughter or son is with the other parent. On the other hand, long distance coparenting parenting plan schedules are usually simpler and there are fewer child exchanges.

Coparenting with new spouse and coparenting after separation present their own unique challenges.

Co-parenting divorce guide – what are some of the keys to healthy coparenting plans?

While parenting plans must cover many issues, the bottom line is that you, your ex, and your children need to work together on a daily basis. Meals need to be prepared. Your child needs to attend school. Social relationships with other family members and friends are critical. Both parents need to participate in their child’s after-school activities. 

A good co-parenting divorce guide

Some of the fundamental ways Help Guide suggests – to make co-parenting divorce guides benefit your children -are:

  •       Security. Children who have both parents in their lives feel more confident. They adjust better to divorce and new living arrangements.
  •       Consistency. Co-parenting works best when children understand that both parents have similar rules, will discipline them in the same way, and will cherish their accomplishments in the same way.
  •       Better problem-solving. It’s hard to raise a child on your own. Input from your ex can help you come up with solutions for all the issues that affect your child’s life.
  •       Emotional stability. Children are less likely to be anxious, depressed, or worry – when they see their parents getting along.

Co-parenting divorce guide –suggestions for co-parenting

A few suggestions for better co-parenting divorce guides include:

  •       Put your anger and hurt aside. This can be hard to do. You may even need professional help. Friends and family can be sounding boards. The more you can move past the reasons for the divorce and forward into a new life, the better it is for your kids. Exercise often helps provide a healthy outlet. You might consider a pet.
  •       Don’t place your kids in the middle. Many spouses will have resentments and will be hurt. As much as you can, you need to ensure that your kids aren’t forced to take sides or to feel like they’re being used to get back your ex. 
  •       Don’t make your children messengers. If you have a dispute with your ex, contact your ex directly. Never say – You need to tell your father how you feel. 
  •       Communicate with your ex. Coparenting communication is essential for the benefit of your children. You will need to talk to your ex. Sometimes in person. Sometimes by phone or email. Try to keep the communications civil. Remember, the discussion is in your child’s best interests. Try to understand what communications make you most angry and either avoid them or work around them. If you need to, have a friend with you when you have to meet your ex. Try to keep a business-like tone.

A few other co-parenting divorce guide suggestions to consider to make co-parenting work, according to Help Guide, include:

  •       Try making requests. Would you consider… instead of you need to do ….
  •       Listen. Give your ex a chance to tell his/her side. Expect the same courtesy in return.
  •       Use restraint. Remember, you’re in the child-rearing business for the long term.
  •       Commit to specific regular times to discuss your children instead of always phoning or emailing at the first sign of a disagreement.
  •       Have plans to relieve stress. If you know you’re meeting with your husband at 10 am, plan a nice lunch at 12 pm with friends.
  •       Ask your ex’s advice. Apologize if you did make a mistake.
  •       Aim for consistency with your child.

Have similar (they don’t have to be identical) rules such as bedtimes and household chores. Try not to sweat the small things. Compromise. It’s better to drop off your child than pick up your child – so you don’t interrupt what your spouse 

At DeTorres & DeGeorge Family Law, our New Jersey divorce lawyers assert your legal rights. We also explain many of the practical issues of divorce. We’ll help you understand how you can prepare your own co-parenting divorce guide.

Call us at 908-691-2104 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment. We have offices in Clinton and Morristown.

Rosanne S. DeTorres
Ms. DeTorres is the managing partner and co-founder of DeTorres & DeGeorge Family Law. She is also only one of 150 attorneys in the State of NJ that is certified by the NJ Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. Ms. DeTorres graduated...
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