The divorce process typically poses many challenges for children because they face massive changes. When parents divorce, the well-being of their children usually constitutes one of their most serious concerns. Although children might experience less time with each parent, loss of contact with friends and extended family, and a change in school and neighborhood, parents can reduce their children’s stress and uncertainty about the future. While high conflict contentious child custody cases might be hard for kids, your ability to develop an effective co-parenting relationship can mitigate potential adverse consequences associated with a divorce. Amicable and effective co-parenting provides your children with stability and close relationships with both parents.
Tip #1: Avoid Putting Children in the Middle of Parental Disputes
Since people do not get a divorce because they are on great terms, intense emotions that include anger, sadness, jealousy, and resentment often make it difficult to work constructively with the other parent. While even parents that manage to amicably co-parent will sometimes disagree, you can make the process less difficult for your children by never contesting these issues through your children. If you have adult issues that you need to discuss with the other parent, a decision to avoid making your children the messenger can shield your kids from feeling like they must take sides. If you call or email your spouse directly, your kids will avoid the feelings of conflict associated with being pulled in opposite directions by both parents.
Tip #2: Never Make Disparaging Comments about a Co-Parent
Even if you have legitimate concerns about your spouse, your kids benefit if you avoid making disparaging comments about the other parent in their presence. Children also face conflict about divided loyalties in this situation. Ohio family law judges take a very negative view of attempts to alienate the other parent’s relationship with minor children. Alienating conduct often constitutes a common grounds for modifying parenting time orders.
Tip #3: Construct Effective Pathways for Communication
When allocating parental rights and responsibilities, as well as residential parenting time, careful attention to detail can avoid ambiguity that promotes conflict and disagreements. Parents should attempt to specify appropriate methods of communication. If telephone calls tend to lead to fights between the parents, communication might be limited to email, text message, and U.S. mail. Developing effective ways to communicate in a constructive way with the other parent can prevent unnecessary disagreements and hostility.
Tip #4: Consider Reasonable Accommodation to Unforeseen Circumstances
While well-crafted and detailed orders can decrease the frequency of unanticipated situations that create a basis for conflict, situations inadvertently arise that neither parent anticipates. If the other parent asks you to trade parenting days because a favorite aunt or grandparent from out-of-state is visiting, you and your children can benefit from granting this type of reasonable request. If you are cooperative when the other parent asks for such an accommodation, you increase the chance you will receive a favorable answer when you need such and adjustment.
Our Columbus child custody attorney at Dawes Legal, LLC work closely with clients to construct parenting arrangements that are durable and constructive. Although contentious issues will sometimes arise in virtually all divorces between parents, an amicable co-parenting relationship can decrease the stress experienced by you and your children. We take a solution-oriented approach when assisting clients in constructing co-parenting arrangements to mitigate the risk of contentious disputes. We invite you to call us today at 614-733-9999.