Divorce is one of the most stressful life events. If a couple has children, they will have lifelong contact because of events in the children’s lives even when they are grown. With some guidance, you and your ex can learn co-parenting skills that will improve the emotional future of you and your children.
Consider Current Family Culture
The first step in learning how to co-parent is to consider the current family traditions. Consider the habits, routines, and schedules of the children. Children need predictability and stability and if these can be established, then the transition during and after the divorce will be more seamless.
Key factors in gathering this information are:
- Ages of the children.
- Each child’s temperament.
- What is each child’s relationship with each parent?
- What is the schedule for each child and the child’s activities?
- What are the schedules of the parents?
- What are the locations of the two homes?
When there is an understanding of these factors, it is easier to schedule time for each parent to spend time with the children. It also helps in understanding logistics and how to get people to where they need to be when they need to be there.
One part of a good parenting plan is to anticipate where there may be conflict and determine ahead of time the process you will use to resolve the conflict. This will prevent a child from sitting in the car waiting to learn what will happen next while the parents argue on the doorstep.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce in Making a Parenting Plan
In the Collaborative Divorce process, there is the opportunity of having a child specialist on the team who is trained and educated in child development. The specialist understands about hypotheticals and how children of certain ages may react to their parents getting divorced and moving into two different homes.
It offers advice from a neutral expert about current and future planning so emotional harm to the children from experiencing the divorce is mitigated.
Parental conflict is the number one predictor of children’s adjustment post-divorce. During the Collaborative Divorce process, parents learn how to become better co-parents. Even though you are no longer involved as a couple, you learn how to parent in your new role of co-parents.
For more information about Co-parenting, the Collaborative Divorce process and how a neutral divorce coach can help you through the process, contact Ann Cerney. Ann is a skilled mediator, divorce coach, and co-parenting counselor. You can reach her at (630) 291-4393.