I recently saw this article, How To Do Divorce Without Wrecking Your Children, posted on Scary Mommy, and it got me thinking. The article outlines some key points on how to go through a divorce without “wrecking” your children, such as getting your children into therapy, refraining from discussing the dirty details of the divorce with your children, and reassuring your children that the divorce is not their fault. Much of what it addresses is how to co-parent after divorce.
The suggestions outlined in this article are excellent, and I encourage anyone going through a divorce with children to review them throughout your divorce. However, what really got me thinking was the suggestion to maintain a relationship with your ex and even consider sharing your children’s birthdays/important events with your ex. I can’t picture a better co-parenting relationship after a divorce than one where two parents can communicate, be respectful of one another, and can jointly share in their children’s important celebrations. However, what this article does not address is how to get through the divorce process while also maintaining a relationship with your ex.
How to Get Through the Divorce Process While Also Maintaining a Relationship With Your Ex
The answer to that question is highly dependent on your approach and attitude during the divorce process. Here are some tips that may help:
Consider Collaborative Law
Collaborative law is a process that can be used in a divorce case where both parties agree to keep their disputes out of court and resolve them through settlement. However, even more importantly, in a collaborative divorce, parties actively work on their communication and learn how to balance both parties’ needs and wants regarding a disputed issue. The skills that parents learn in a collaborative divorce create the framework for a positive co-parenting relationship after the divorce is final and will help you co-parent after divorce. To learn more about collaborative law, click here.
Truly Put Your Children First
When custody decisions regarding your children need to be made, the legal standard that must be considered in Colorado is “what is in the child’s best interest?” Unfortunately, too many times parents going through a divorce spend their time arguing about what is best for their children, when what they are really focused on is what is best for the parents. Make a conscious effort to distinguish between what is best for you and what is best for your child, which leads me to my next point…
Recognize the Importance of Your Ex’s Role in Your Children’s Lives
In most situations, it is beneficial for children to have a relationship with both parents. A meaningful relationship is built by spending time together, although the focus with regard to parenting time should be on quality over quantity. That being said, it is important to accept early on in the divorce process that there will be times that your children will be with your ex—and that is a good thing for your children.
Regardless of the reasons for the divorce and/or whether or not you wanted to get divorced, if you make the commitment to approach the divorce process with these things in mind, you will be setting yourself up for success in maintaining a relationship with your ex after the divorce, allowing you to successfully co-parent after divorce and hopefully share in the joy of birthdays, graduations, weddings, and grandbabies together.
If you need help working through post-divorce legal questions, contact Laura Monty Law serving Fort Collins and the surrounding areas in Northern Colorado.