Many parents in New Jersey and Pennsylvania know that co-parenting with an ex can be a challenge. If you have just started the divorce process, you may not even know where to begin when it comes to making a custody schedule. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to make the coparenting process easier on yourself and on your kids.
Putting personal feelings aside
In a divorce, it is important to keep in mind that your ex’s shortcomings as a partner do not make your ex a bad parent. Parents should try their best to keep their own history out of the conversation when discussing their children, and they should instead focus on things of importance regarding their children, such as schooling or extracurricular activities. Parents should also put their egos aside and learn to pick their battles. Fighting over every little thing involving the children does no one any favors, and it makes the co-parenting process more of a challenge.
Putting up boundaries with children
Divorce is rough on children, particularly young ones. Parents should encourage their kids to speak with them regarding their feelings about the divorce, but they should be very careful not to bad-mouth their ex in the process. Even if a child has a complaint about one parent, the other should never agree with the kid or say even more negative things about the other. Saying negative things about a parent – whose genetics your child shares – may lead a child to internalize those complaints.
Come up with a flexible custody schedule that is age-appropriate
Younger children in particular should not go for too long without seeing one parent or another, to the extent possible. If parents are sharing custody 50-50, they may want to consider a 2-2-3 or a 3-4-4-3 schedule, where the parents rotate between seeing their kids every two or three days or every three or four days. Parents should plan for flexibility in the schedule for things like work emergencies or illness. A family law attorney can help you create a custody schedule that is a healthy compromise for both parents.