Life doesn’t stop changing after you sign your divorce papers or make a co-parenting agreement. There is always something new to worry about and changes that we must adjust to. When times are uncertain and your family is faced with new challenges, here are some tips to help make co-parenting a little easier.
Focus on flexibility
Flexibility is one of the most important values that you can hold onto during uncertain times. Be ready to adjust your regular life. Maybe you need to have more phone calls and video chats than face-to-face interactions with your kids. Maybe you need to alter your usual schedule. You kids will likely notice that things are changing, but your flexibility and ability to work with your co-parent will help give them an example for how to cope.
Communicate more than you think you need to
It’s easy to assume that your co-parent is on the same page as you, but misunderstandings will lead to issues. Over-communicate what is going on and what needs to happen when talking through situations with your co-parent. Be as clear as possible.
Wait until you are calm to react
Uncertainty and fear quickly stir up conflict. When you and your co-parent have a disagreement or miscommunication, it can be so easy to send that angry text or say something you later regret. Especially when things are changing, practice control and give yourself a minute to calm down. Walk away from your phone and do a couple chores. If something really needs to be addressed, you’ll see it a little more objectively and know better how to talk about it with a clear head.
Be ready to adjust – even on official documents
When times are hard, it’s important to acknowledge that big things may change. Someone may lose their job and you may need to reassess your agreements, including child support and custody. Remember that you’re in this together, as a family, no matter the differences that you and your co-parent have. The more honesty that you and your co-parent can share, the easier it will be to get through uncertain times together.
Even though relationships change, and times may be challenging, you and your co-parent can ultimately still work together to support your children. Though things may not be easy, remember there are ways to help ease tensions.
Please join the Snohomish County attorneys of Akiona Law for a live Q&A about co-parenting during these uncertain times on 4/29/2020 from 12:00PM – 1:00PM. To register, send an email to [email protected] or direct message us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and we will send you our Zoom link. See you there!