Tips for Divorce
Even after you’ve gotten a divorce from your spouse, your relationship with your ex is not over if you have children from your marriage. Many marriage difficulties arise due to differences over parenting decisions; these differences and the strain that they cause can be worsened after you and your spouse have separated. Unfortunately, you can’t control your ex’s behavior and decisions, only your own. In any event, it is preferable to treat your ex with courtesy and respect for the benefit of your children, especially when it comes to parenting decisions. Doing so allows you to set a behavioral example that you would like your children to follow. Ultimately, you should set healthy boundaries in the relationship between you and your ex and between your ex and your children by not intervening in the parenting time of your ex.
The following are some tips you can follow to help you have a better co-parenting relationship with your ex:
- Ensure your children understand that they have two parents who love them equally, even if both parents don’t get to spend an equal amount of time with them. This is particularly hard when one parent has primary physical custody while the other parent only gets limited periods of visitation. However, children need both of their parents, so it is important, whether you are the parent of primary custody or not, that both you and your ex love your children equally and that their relationship with both of their parents is secure no matter the child custody arrangement.
- Never demean your ex in front of your children. It is harmful to your children to have them hear negative things about a parent they love, especially from their other parent. Your children may be listening to what you say, even if you think they are not. If you need to say bad things about your ex, don’t do it while your children are around — although it is best to just avoid saying anything bad about your ex.
- Don’t ask your kids to keep what happens in your house secret, or to tell you what goes on in your ex’s house. Asking your kids to keep things that go on during your parenting time secret, even harmless matters like letting them eat ice cream after dinner or stay up after their bedtime, can put stress on your children about what they can and can’t talk about in each of their parents’ homes. You may want to keep certain things about your life from your ex, such as if you are dating someone, but you still share a part of your life with your ex through your children. And of course, the reverse is equally true — never force your children to tell you what your ex is up to. If your children volunteer information, respond as neutrally or positively as possible.
- Don’t ask your kids to serve as messengers between yourself and your ex. There are plenty of websites and mobile applications that allow divorced parents to share information about their children or coordinate schedules, without forcing your children to carry that information to your ex. As an adult, you should be able to communicate in a calm and reasonable manner with your ex when it comes to matters involving your children.
- Let your children speak to their other parent whenever they want. Your children most likely have a smartphone and access to a computer or a computer of their own, which they can and should use to maintain contact with their other parent. While you can certainly monitor and regulate your children’s use of electronics, you shouldn’t interfere with their reasonable contact with their other parent. If your children must rely upon you to contact their other parent, you should accommodate their reasonable requests, no matter how difficult it is for your to speak with your ex.
- Maintain a good face when your kids spend time with their other parent. Custody exchanges can be a difficult process for any divorced couple. Your children should look forward to spending time with their other parent. Although you may disagree with your ex’s parenting style — perhaps they let the children watch too much TV or stay on the internet longer than you would like, but as long as your children are not being harmed or abused, what goes on when your ex has custody of the child is out of your control. You should acknowledge that your children now have a relationship with their other parent separate from the relationship they have with you, and that is also separate from the relationship you had or have with your ex.
Contact a Newtown Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Co-parenting in Pennsylvania Today
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The Pennsylvania family law attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. represent clients throughout the state, including Colmar, Lansdale, King of Prussia, and Doylestown. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at(215-822-7575 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 2605 N. Broad St, Colmar, PA 18915, as well as an office located in Newtown.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.