Divorce is not generally a sign of a successful relationship. The end of a marriage is often accompanied by anger, disgust, betrayal, and sadness. The strong emotions that come with divorce can make the thought of co-parenting almost intolerable. Overcoming those feelings is a necessity for parents who want to minimize the harm their children suffer due to divorce.
A Texas psychologist recently laid out ten suggestions for how parents should behave toward their ex-spouses. These “Articles of Consideration” provide an excellent guide that parents should consider reviewing together when co-parenting is an issue.
One of the keys to these suggestions is that they are all things you can aspire to do alone. They do not rely on your former spouse. Your co-parent may be an irresponsible, inconsiderate jerk. That’s an unfortunate situation that many parents find themselves in. Your children will still benefit from your dedication to approaching things in a better way. You can control your behavior, even if your ex can’t.
It is too much to hope that you and your former spouse will always have the same opinion on every parenting situation. There will be times when you disagree about the best way to handle a problem or approach an opportunity. Disputes are to be expected, so you should have a plan in mind for how to deal with them.
When differences arise, try to focus on solutions. Arguments about parenting are a trigger for many to revisit the problems that led you to get a divorce in the first place. Rehashing the past is not likely to serve your interests, or your children’s. Like it or not, you are sharing at least this one aspect of life even after your marriage is over.
Being a good co-parent is not always enough. There are times when one parent is dropping the ball so badly that legal intervention is necessary. If your children are endangered by your former spouse, for example, you may need to speak to a lawyer about what can be done.
If you have questions about your custody arrangement or possible adjustments to your parental rights, send us a message or call our Arlington office at 817-799-7125 . We can answer your questions and help you figure out a better way forward.