As a Michigan parent, you undoubtedly want your kids to have full, happy and healthy lives. This desire likely also means that you want them to have healthy relationships with the people in their lives. Because you know relationships are important, especially parental ones, you probably also know that co-parenting may work in the best interests of your children even though you and your spouse are getting divorced.
Co-parenting is becoming the highlighted arrangement when it comes to child custody because it allows both parents to remain active in their children's lives. Of course, this arrangement also means that divorced parents will continue to see each other and interact. The ease (or unease) of co-parenting differs from case to case, and the feelings you and your soon-to-be ex have toward each other may influence how well co-parenting works for your situation.
Working toward a strong co-parenting relationship
Understandably, you may feel a certain amount of animosity toward your ex after the divorce. However, you understand the importance of building strong relationships with your kids, and because of that understanding, you want to put your best foot forward when it comes to making co-parenting work. The following tips may help you with that endeavor:
- Put your personal feelings toward your ex aside, and remember that your children's well-being is most important in terms of the co-parenting relationship.
- Do your best to stick to the parenting plan and visitation agreements.
- Stay positive when your children go to the other parent's house.
- Have purposeful communication with the other parent to help ensure that your children's well-being does not suffer due to poor communication between parents.
- Make requests of the other parent rather than demands.
- Work as a team when possible. Teamwork may include consistently enforcing rules from one house to the other, keeping up with a schedule and having similar discipline systems.
- Make important child-related decisions together, such as those related to education and medical needs.
Emotions can run high, and you may still feel somewhat raw due to ending your marital relationship. However, you still remain a parent, and ensuring that you meet your children's needs in the best manner possible remains a top priority.
Coming to custody terms
Before you reach your co-parenting agreement, you will need to go through the necessary legal steps. In order to come to the best terms for your family, you may want to speak with your legal counsel about your options and how state laws will affect your case.