You may not have had a choice with how your relationship ended with the other parent of your child but you do have a choice as to how you will co-parent. This does not mean because you take an approach that focuses on the best interest of the child the other parent will do so as well. Nonetheless, if such a child focused “co-parenting style” is indeed your goal you should find the information provided in this blog helpful in meeting you goals of raising happy, healthy, and well adjusted children.
Side note: I write this blog from the perspective of a Master’s level psychologist who worked with adolescents and their parents; and then went on to practice family law for the past 23 years.
From my professional experience I can make the following statement with absolute certainty. Children don’t focus on whether their parents are divorced, married, or never married; rather they focus on how the parents behave around each other, talk to each other and show respect for each other. Now I’m not going to tell you it is easy to always behave respectfully towards the other parent; rather I’m saying this ability is critical to the future welfare of your children.
Some quick tips on how to behave respectfully when you and the other parent do not get along:
1. Probably best to limit in person or telephonic communication as mus as possible – particularity in the presence of the children.
2. Try communication, when necessary, by text or e-mail instead. As it is harder to argue when you have what I call unilateral communication.
3. Don’t question the child about what goes on at the other parent’s house in such a manner they feel like a spy or informant,
4. Invite the children to reach out to the other parent while in your care, have pictures of them in your house, and don’t make the other parent a forbidden subject – i.e. facilitate the relationship between the children and the other parent.
These guidelines should be a good start and we will discuss more in the next blog.
’till next time this has been,
Chet E. Weinbaum J.D.
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