Divorce is often hardest on the youngest members of the family, and they may experience changes in different areas of their lives. As a result of your divorce, your kids may have to move houses, change schools and face changes in the relationships they have with their parents. This disruption and change can cause emotional duress, and you naturally want to do everything possible to protect their interests as much as possible during this difficult time.
One way New Jersey parents are able to help their children navigate this difficult time is by opting to co-parent. This is a specific type of custody and visitation plan that allows their children to have stability and security by giving them regular access to both parents. In order to co-parent successfully, however, you and the other parent must be cooperative with each other for the benefit of the children.
Making this arrangement work well
The intent of co-parenting is to provide the children with equitable access to both parents, but this is not always easy for two parents who just emerged from a divorce. In order to reduce the chance for conflict and make co-parenting work better, the following may be helpful:
- Resolve to remain respectful with each other, especially in front of the children.
- Be flexible when unexpected things happen.
- Have a strong custody and visitation plan in place that outlines exactly how your co-parenting arrangement will work.
- Keep your kids as the main priority, even when things are difficult.
Co-parents who prioritize their children are much more likely to be successful in their co-parenting arrangement. When you focus on your kids over your temporary feelings for the other parent, you will find that co-parenting is easier and less stressful for the entire family.
Focus on the future
When making decisions regarding custody and visitation, you will find it helpful to keep your focus on your children above all else. Prioritizing their needs over your emotions will make it much more likely that you reach terms that are sustainable long-term.
Co-parenting is not necessarily the best arrangement for every family, but it could the right way for your family to help your kids maintain strong relationships with each parent and have a measure of continuity of lifestyle. If you are unsure of whether you can make co-parenting work or have questions about the right choices for your family, you may find it helpful to seek an understanding of all of the legal options available to you.