In the past, once you were married, you were quite literally tied in for life. There wasn’t the option of leaving. Of course, when we get married, we do intent to stay with our partners, but the world doesn’t always allow for that. Sometimes, people grow apart. Sometimes, people begin to act poorly in a relationship and no longer deserve to be part of it. Sometimes, people simply find that they change and their needs are no longer met within the relationship. There are endless reasons that relationships fall apart, but it’s important to know that they are completely fine. You don’t have to stay together forever. Now, one problem many face when separating is the fact that they have children. Breakups are inevitably harder with little ones involved, but coparenting can be equally as healthy as parenting with two parents who are together – if not healthier if the parents were constantly arguing or creating a negative atmosphere in the household. Here are some top tips on how to co-parent effectively!
Co-parenting is a big change, so take some time to seek help from professionals who can guide you through the process. Many couples will choose to go to couples counselling or individual counselling to better get to grips with their emotions and mindset when heading into co-parenting. Not only can the counselling help with accepting and dealing with the breakup itself, but it can guide you in the right direction going forward too!
You may also want to reach out to family law solicitors when starting this journey. They will be able to clearly and nearly outline what is fair in the break up, who should get what financially and in terms of assets and what is the best child custody set up for everyone involved, particularly the children. This will help you to set clear guidelines and boundaries determining how things need to progress going forward.
Once you have a child custody agreement, or have come to an agreement with your ex partner determining who has the kids, where and when, you should outline this with a clear schedule that everyone can follow. This will ensure that everyone knows when they need to be where and can provide your kids with stability and consistency in their routine. It is absolutely essential that all parties stick to this agreement.
Of course, a clear schedule is important for the most part, but you do need to show flexibility at some points. Perhaps your ex partner has something really important that overlaps with when they are meant to have the kids – a funeral, an important work event or something else. You do need to be flexible at times, helping them out and accommodating them. They need to do the same in return when you need support.
These are just a few starting steps that can help you on your journey towards healthy and proper coparenting. Following the advice above will help everyone involved in the process, so keep the suggestions in mind!