Getting through your divorce and learning to co-parent with your ex are challenging experiences for most couples. The only thing more difficult is trying to live up to an unrealistic expectation that you should be perfect at navigating these uncharted waters. When you hear about how successfully other couples co-parent, it’s easy to feel like you’re failing at one of your most important responsibilities. What you don’t see or know is how long it took those seemingly perfect co-parents to reach the point where they could say their co-parenting strategy was successful.
3 Misconceptions About Co-Parenting
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t immediately have a co-parenting plan that works perfectly. After many years of working with divorced couples with children, we’ve compiled a list of misconceptions that can sabotage your co-parenting efforts.
- You and Your Co-parent Should Always Agree: This isn’t possible or true. It’s not likely that you and your ex will agree on every issue, and while it would be great, if you don’t agree, it doesn’t mean your co-parenting relationship is doomed. Let’s be honest; you and your ex-spouse are divorced. It’s unlikely and unrealistic to think you’ll agree every time.
Co-parenting is not about total agreement; it’s about:
- Being committed to your kids and their best interests
- Sharing parenting duties
- Maintaining a consistent parenting strategy in your child’s life
When you and your co-parent disagree, you must find a way to resolve your issues in a way that isn’t destructive to your parenting relationship. As long as you and your co-parent agree on the larger issues of how to raise your child, you’ll be fine!
- You and Your Co-parent are in Nonstop Negotiations: The purpose of your parenting plan is to tackle many of the co-parenting issues before your divorce is finalized. While some issues may arise you’d not considered when working on your parenting agreement, you can clarify those as needed. It’s not likely you and your co-parent will have many high-stakes negotiations over school schedules or chore charts.
- You and Your Co-parent are Spending Lots of Time Together: Yes, part of raising children together is spending time in joint activities. Divorce does curb some of this collaborative parenting, but your co-parent will be part of your life for a long time, depending on the age of your children. You will have to come together with your co-parent to work together to keep schedules, maintain consistent rules, and support extracurricular responsibilities.
You will find that your co-parenting responsibilities wane as your children get older. Plus, the one constant you can be certain of is that life changes, and your co-parenting plan and strategy should grow and change with your children. You and your ex-spouse may get remarried, add extra children to your family, or move out of state. All of these issues mean your co-parenting strategy is evolving. The best thing you can do is commit to working with your co-parent to provide your children with the best possible childhood you can.
Elk Grove Divorce Attorneys Available for Consultations
Divorce is hard on families, and remaining flexible is the best thing you can do to keep your parenting plan feasible. If you need a modification of your plan, our Elk Grove divorce attorneys can help you take care of the changes. At Samra Dhillon & Associates, we are dedicated to helping couples navigate post-divorce issues, so they don’t add stress to your co-parenting relationship. Contact us now at (916) 571-1550 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.