If you have decided to get a divorce, you may want to share parenting responsibilities with your former spouse. Sharing parenting time can help your children maintain the relationships they have with both you and their other parent following the divorce process.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020, 630,505 couples either divorced or annulled their marriages, and many of these couples likely entered into shared parenting arrangements. While coparenting can be beneficial for your children, there are strategies you should use to make the arrangement work.
Work on your communication
After your divorce, you may still feel resentful, disappointed and angry. But do not let these emotions overtake your coparenting relationship. Treat sharing custody like a business agreement and speak to your spouse concisely and respectfully.
Refrain from criticism in front of your children
If you feel frustrated at your former spouse, do not vent and criticize your ex in front of your children or in areas where your children can hear you. Instead, talk to a close friend, family member or a counselor about your frustrations.
Maintain expectations at both homes
Talk to your ex and establish a set of rules your children must follow at both households to maintain consistency. These rules may apply to discipline, homework, bedtimes and other normal daily routines.
It may take time for you, your former spouse and your children to get used to this new coparenting arrangement. Try to stay on the same page as your ex and put the needs of your children first when making parenting decisions.