Divorce is stressful, even when children aren’t part of the process. When you and your former spouse share children, it creates additional challenges. Moving forward, you must find a way to co-parent your children that keeps their best interests always in mind.
Successful co-parenting is possible, regardless of whether both parents see eye-to-eye. It requires a commitment from both parties to provide for your children’s well-being. When your relationship with your ex is less than amicable, you need to set your personal relationship aside and build one based on a desire to do what’s best for your children.
Develop a co-parenting plan
The first step toward successful co-parenting is to establish a written plan. The document should specify:
- Responsibilities for each parent
- Living and time-sharing arrangements
- Weekly, holiday and weekend schedules
- Strategies for dealing with vacations
- Medical and educational decision-making plans
- Guidelines for how to handle deviations from the plan
Your co-parenting plan should also outline what to do when unexpected expenses arise. Georgia law requires parenting plans when filing for divorce.
Establish guidelines for interactions
Even if your divorce is amicable, you and your ex may want to establish guidelines for interacting with one another, especially in front of the children. It can be difficult to set aside your emotions about each other, but setting up clear boundaries may help.
Decide together how to communicate and when, set routines for drop-offs and pick-ups, and determine topics you will not discuss with one another. Following these guidelines consistently can reduce the likelihood of confusion for your children and provide them with a sense of stability.