Making the transition from one two-parent household to two one-parent households is a challenge for the adult and children. Determining what strategies to make the new arrangement a success is a top priority.
No two situations are the same, so you and your ex will need to find out what works for you. While there might be some disagreements and difficulties along the way, you will likely find that everything goes much more smoothly when you go into the new way of life with a solid plan.
Parent with your ex
No matter what went on between you and your ex, now is the time to decide to do your part to make the parenting arrangement work. There should be a clear plan for communication and strict guidelines for mutual respect.
Discuss how you will share events with each other and how these will be handled. Your parenting plan is a good place to outline many of the points that you feel you might need to use later, including the parenting time schedule and how you will address disagreements.
Your children are going to pay close attention to how you and your ex interact. Try to present a united front. If there are issues that need to be hashed out, do this when the kids aren’t around. Email, text messages and phone calls might help when it isn’t possible to meet face to face.
As the children grow up, you might find that old arrangements don’t work any longer. The same is true if one parent moves or there is a significant change in circumstances. Being able to work out a new parenting plan with your ex can make life much easier. Even if there are only temporary issues that require a change, both parents being flexible is important.
Keep the kids as the focal point
Never make child custody decisions based on the relationship you have with your ex. Instead, look at how the situation is impacting the children. Make your decision based on this: Put their interests first. Not only can this help them to enjoy their childhood, it can take some of the pressure off of you since you only have their needs in mind.