When you and your spouse decided to separate, it may have been because you grew apart, changed, had difficulty communicating or had different goals. If you share children, however, the divorce is not the end of your relationship. In fact, it is just the beginning of a new phase of your relationship: co-parenting.
Co-parenting your children from different homes requires a new level of communication, patience and skill. Johnson Mediation can help you with all types of issues related to parenting with your ex-spouse.
Strategies for Effective Co-Parenting After Divorce
1. Commit to rules ahead of time and stick to them: During or after your divorce, sit down with your ex (and a mediator) and come up with a game plan for rules around discipline, education, screen time and plans for a transfer from one parent to the other that is healthy for your kids. Stick to any agreement that you make with your spouse. This will set a positive tone for future communication and model positive behavior for your kids.
2. Separate your feelings for your ex from your feelings for your kids: While your feelings for your ex-spouse may have changed over time, your feelings for your children have not. If possible, try to separate your feelings so that your kids can stay out of the line of fire.
3. Do not speak negatively about your ex-spouse to your children: Remember that your children love both you and your ex and are forever tied to you both. Work hard not to say negative things about your ex. Putting your kids in the middle is never a good idea.
4. Improve communication: Consider co-parenting a clean slate when it comes to communication with your ex. Work hard to be clear and open in your communication. Treat your communication as professional, be direct and clear about your expectations and your concerns.
5. Work collaboratively as a team: While rules cannot be the exact same in two households, talk about the big issues and make sure that there is some consistency between your parenting and schedules.
Using Mediation to Resolve Issues with Your Ex-Spouse
Johnson Mediation offers a variety of parenting support services that can help you with successful co-parenting. Mediation can be extremely helpful after your divorce is final and an issue changes related to your co-parenting agreement. As your children age, they will develop new interests and preferences and it is natural to adjust parenting time and schedules to accommodate this. One of you may also decide to remarry and our team can help you with transitioning to a blended family. For more information about parenting with your ex-spouse after a divorce, contact the team at Johnson Mediation at (952) 401-7599.