Divorce is difficult and, when there are children involved, conflict can erupt when it comes to custody and support. In Maryland, the courts use the ability for parent to communicate and reach shared decisions strongly when determining custody. If one parent fights or disagrees over every aspect of the process, a judge may be less likely to award custody. This means that it is critical for you to develop co-parenting methods that will not lead to conflict and these tips can help.
Understand parenting time
One of the first things to work out with your ex-spouse is to clearly define when your parenting time begins and theirs ends as well as when their parenting time begins and yours ends. A parenting plan should eliminate infringement of one parent’s time on the others. Keep in mind that when you are at a school function or sporting activity, that should not be considered parenting time as you should both be able to attend things that your child is involved in without any animosity. Parenting time is the time you spend with the kids alone with no interference from the other parent after a divorce. A written parenting plan can help create those boundaries.
Keep third parties out of the process
Another aspect of your parenting plan should address third parties. This may include grandparents, new spouses, significant others or anyone who is not the biological parent of the child. Create communication plans between you and your ex-spouse that will allow you to discuss the children rationally and without interference. This may be difficult when it comes to new spouses who also have children and who have different parenting methods than you and your ex, but keeping those boundaries clear will help you avoid conflict.
Keep the children’s needs at the forefront
During and after a divorce, it is sometimes difficult to put personal feelings about an ex aside in order to do the right thing by your children, but it is critical that you do so. Whether your ex was unfaithful, controlling or simply drifted apart from you is irrelevant to your children. Therefore, when communicating with your ex, don’t include personal viewpoints about them as a parent or make veiled comments about their choices. This simply creates conflict that will eventually harm your children. Keep the communication about the children only, such as their schedules, pick-up times at school or practices, medications, etc. and avoid any personal attacks. Talking to an attorney can help you develop a good parenting plan after your divorce that will make it easier for you to communicate with an ex-spouse which is in the best interest of your children.
Divorce and child custody are already difficult which is why creating a good co-parenting agreement with your ex-spouse can help you avoid conflict and spend quality time with your children.