There are few things more important than ensuring your children are well taken care of. Unfortunately, after a court makes a custody decision, or even if you reach a custody decision on your own through mediation or another alternative divorce method, it can be more challenging to ensure your child is being raised according to your wishes. That said, just as your child’s best interest is the number one factor taken into account when making a custody decision, it is your job as a parent to ensure your child’s best interests are protected even after your divorce concludes. Of course, we are not here to offer parental advice, but there are certain basic steps you can take to be the best co-parent you can be after a divorce. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Bergen County child custody lawyer to learn more about how to be a good co-parent after a divorce.
5 Important Tips for Being a Good Co-Parent After a Divorce
Just some of the most important things to keep in mind for being a great co-parent after a divorce are as follows:
- Your children’s needs come first. Your children will be affected by your divorce every bit as much as you. For this reason, you need to ensure their needs are met. If they want to talk, you need to support them. Consider they may benefit from therapy of some kind. Ensure they have everything they need in terms of social relationships, financial security, and a safe, comfortable home to live in.
- Your children aren’t your therapist. Don’t badmouth your ex to them or vent your frustrations to them. Your ex is your children’s parent after all, and children see their parents as an extension of themselves. If you talk about how much you hate your ex or how he or she wronged you, it will only have a negative impact on your children. If you want to vent, talk to a trusted friend, relative, or therapist.
- Open and direct communication is key. Even if your ex frustrates you, you still have to raise children with them. Therefore, you should keep communication open, honest, short, and straightforward, at the bare minimum. If you can get along amicably, even better. Ensure you’re on the same page in terms of raising your children at all times.
- Do not take the bait if your ex is confrontational. Your ex may try to frustrate or provoke you by saying nasty things, whether in person or through text. Take the high road. If you stoop to their level, you may say or do something that they can even use against you in court. You need to be the cool, clear-headed one at all times.
- If your ex refuses to abide by your custody agreement, don’t fight. Just hire a lawyer. If your ex violates your custody agreement in a serious way, (i.e. not being 5 minutes late to drop off your child, but refusing to abide by your custody schedule altogether, for example) then you need to speak with an attorney right away. Our firm can help ensure your custody order is enforced in order to best protect the needs of your child.