co-parenting after a collaborative divorce

Co-Parenting After Collaborative Divorce: Tips for Success

Divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. But when couples are able to end their marriage through the collaborative divorce process, it can set the stage for more positive and successful co-parenting in the future.

As a managing partner at Trusler Legal PLLC who has helped guide many families through collaborative divorce, here are some of my top tips for co-parenting success after a collaborative split:

1. Keep communication respectful and child-focused

The collaborative process teaches spouses how to communicate respectfully and productively, even when emotions are running high. Carry those same communication skills into your co-parenting. Keep discussions focused on the kids and their wellbeing. Avoid rehashing old marital issues.

2. Be flexible but follow the parenting plan

Having a detailed parenting plan is important. But life happens, so try to be flexible with each other when reasonable requests come up to deviate once in a while. That said, don’t make unilateral changes – always discuss proposed schedule changes with your co-parent first.

3. Present a united front

Even if you disagree on parenting issues behind the scenes, avoid arguing in front of the kids or putting them in the middle. Back each other up and enforce the same rules in both households. Consistency is key.

4. Encourage the kids’ relationship with the other parent

Your marriage may have ended, but your children still need a positive relationship with both parents. Avoid criticizing your ex in front of the kids. Encourage them to spend time with their other parent and extended family.

5. Continue using your professional support team

You likely had the support of mental health and financial professionals during the collaborative divorce process. Maintain those relationships to help you navigate any bumps in the road with co-parenting. Consider a co-parenting therapist or coach for additional support.

As difficult as it may seem in the early stages, many collaborative divorce clients are able to build a positive and even friendly co-parenting relationship over time by implementing these strategies. It takes hard work and dedication, but is so worth it for your children’s wellbeing. If you find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional support to get things back on track.