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5 things to consider when co-parenting after divorce

Divorce is a painful process for many people in Massachusetts. Even when it is the best choice for you, your spouse and your children, it can be hard to get over some of the feelings you experienced before or during the divorce. When you have children, however, setting those feelings aside can make the transition to a new life easier on them.

Whether you are hurt, angry or sad, you still have to co-parent with your ex if you share child custody. While co-parenting doesn't mean you have to like your ex, it does mean you will have to interact with him or her occasionally. To help with this process -- and to keep your feelings from impacting your children -- use the following five points to think about how to help your kids through your divorce.

  1. Think of ways to make life easier for your children. This could be as simple as making sure they have clothes at both houses, so they don't have to pack a bag every time they move between. Divorce can be hard on kids, but there is nothing stopping you from continuing to better their lives under new circumstances.
  2. Consider what your children might think about how you handled your divorce when they are adults. Will they respect your decisions or wish you had done something differently? This can help you make strong decisions for yourself and them.
  3. Think about what you are asking of your children during divorce. Are you burdening them with adult responsibilities or helping them continue to be kids?
  4. Think about how you can best support your children. This may play a role in your custody agreement. It could also help you and your spouse determine how to work together to give your children the emotional and physical support they need.
  5. Remember that you love your children more than you dislike your ex. Staying focused on your children's needs rather than your hatred of your ex can help you be the best parent you can be for your children.

These are only a few of many possible considerations to keep in mind when co-parenting after divorce. Co-parenting is not always an easy process. Eventually, however, your efforts will pay off. Finding a method that works for you, your ex and your children will be rewarding in many ways.

Source: Huffington Post, "10 Key Questions for Caring Co-Parents to Support the Kids You Love," Rosalind Sedacca, July 6, 2015

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