There are many areas occyour life where you will have to learn to adjust after your divorce. If you are a parent, the most significant area of your life that will undergo se degree of change will be in regard to how you parent your child. No longer will you be able to rely upon your spouse to be able to help you in parenting your child within the same house period now you all will need to get used to raising your child together in two different households. While a divorce may have been beneficial for your life in many regards one area that has likely seen some difficulties come your way is in regard to parenting.
What those in the field of family law called parenting a child when parents no longer reside together is Co-parenting. Co-parenting is a term that you will probably become familiar with during your family law case. In most counties in Texas you will need to take a parenting course in order to complete your divorce case. That divorce case will focus heavily on Co-parenting, its importance and how to maximize the benefits of being able to coparent after a divorce case. Let's take a look at what Co-parenting is and how to maximize your opportunities to engage in Co-parenting after a family law case.
How parenting may become difficult prior to a family law case
before we even get into Co-parenting and what it means for your family, we should discuss what difficulties your family may have been facing as a result of the environment you already in previous to the filing over the divorce or child custody case. To be sure, families that go through difficult divorce or child custody matters likely felt the brunt of those problems when it came to the day-to-day parenting that all of us parents engage in. So much of parenting is being able to present a united front when it comes to making difficult decisions and enforcing discipline. Consistency in structure within your child's home is incredibly important and I believe that discipline is the foundation of this structure.
When you and your spouse are not able to be on the same page when it comes to providing structure and disciplining your child then you have a potentially combustible situation. Nobody will be happy with what results from that circumstance. Your child will not be better off due to their innate need for discipline structure being put to the side. You and your spouse will begin to feel some detriment in that your child's behavior will not be what it could have been had you all been able to co-parent effectively. All in all, your life prior to the family law case it was likely not all that happy when it comes to the world of parenting.
Now that a family law case has been filed and you all are adjusting to life in different households this is your opportunity to begin to set boundaries, established norms and prepare for a life of co-parenting once your family law case concludes. While you may have done everything possible in order to remove your life from that of your spouse it is unquestionably true that you will continue to be a part of one another's lives through parenting your child. There are many ways to coparent effectively, but I think the most direct path towards strong co-parenting is through direct communication with your co-parent.
This can mean different things to different people. For instance, you and your spouse may be on good terms despite your moving towards a divorce. The problems in your marriage may exist independent of anything you do as parents do you child and as a result you all may be able to talk through in manage the problems associated with parenting and child in separate households quite well. From what I can tell, based on people who have gone through child custody and divorce cases previously, maintaining a sense of consistency and stability in the lives of your children should be at the top of your list of priorities.
If you and your spouse can communicate well with one another you can begin to establish your own ground rules for how to enforce discipline, how to communicate through issues that you disagree with and how to only communicate these issues together and not use your children as go between. This last point is essential, in my opinion, because many parents use their children as messengers when that should not be a part of the life of any child. On the contrary, you and your Co parent should be able to at least speak to one another about important issues regarding your children. Utilizing a child 2 help this conversation is unhealthy for the child they will not be effective in communicating your main points.
A big part of communication is not speaking, but rather listening. I have noticed that parents who are willing to listen to their spouse, even when that person is someone they disagree with on many other topics, will be in a better position to coparent then a parent who is not willing to listen. Many times, a person going through a divorce will feel like their opinions are not being heard and as a result they cannot take the time to listen. I can understand having this thought, but the reality is that just because you feel that durability too be heard is not at its maximum does not give you an excuse to constantly talk over and talk through your co-parent.
It would make sense for you and your co-parent to be able to arrange a specific time each week to talk about the issues that your child is facing. In an era where your child may be going through at home schooling and in person class work then you all should decide how you should manage this transition and identify any problems that your child is having. Being on the same page when it comes to your child education is incredibly important this year as opposed to years previous or years in the future. If she's regarding school are among the most important for children in a post-divorce world.
How to coparent after a family law case when communication is difficult
On the other hand, you may find yourself in a position where you and your co-parent do not communicate well with one another. If you find yourself in this sort of position, then you do have options to take advantage of on how to creatively solve this problem. Please note that not being able to communicate with your co-parent is a problem and does need to be solved. Fortunately, you do not have to sit idly by and worry about it. You can take concrete steps to improve your ability to communicate with your co-parent.
As I have already mentioned a number of times in this blog post, being able to communicate well with your co-parent is essential. The means by which you communicate with your coparent are somewhat flexible in this day and age biology is your friend. Think about using text messaging, email, co-parenting websites, and the telephone has ways to avoid face to face interaction with your co-parent if that is a problem for you. I tend to think that being able to communicate directly with the person is the most effective way to coparent and communicate ideas, but I realize that for some of you, that may not be an option.
Another piece of advice that I would share with you all is that it is not necessary for you to communicate with your co-parent about every issue under the sun. Rather, you could and should focus on only the essential bits of information regarding your child if you end your Co parent have problems with communication. Why waste your time and energy when discussing topics that are not related to your child when you could get to the point and move on to other matters more quickly? Leave discussion about your prior family law case or anything other than your children out of the topics of conversation.
What I tell clients is that they should look at co-parenting as a job. Think about how you act in the office versus how you act in your personal life. I'm willing to bet that most of us act differently in the workplace than we do at home. Many of us probably act more professionally at work than we do when we're around our close friends and family. I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, but that it is a reality for many of us. With that being said we need to be able to act professionally and businesslike when it comes to discussing matters related to children.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to mastering elements of co-parenting
the last thing that I wanted to mention in today's blog post is that co-parenting is not something that can be improved upon unless you actively work to improve how you co-parent. This means that if you want to get better at co-parenting need to actually engage in co-parenting with your co-parent. if you truly want to be bold and attempt to master the art of coparenting, as my title to today's blog post would suggest, then you should seek to improve not only at communication but in how you think about your co-parent.
If you still hold hostility towards your co-parent due to the nature of your family law case, then I would recommend that you let those feelings go. No, I'm not asking you to forgive the other parent for things they have done to you in the past, although that may be beneficial as well, but what I am asking you to do is to approach that person from the perspective of someone who can work with you to improve the life of your child. That does not mean that you should forget their past actions or overlook bad behavior done tor due by him or her in the past. What it does mean is that in order to get better at coparenting you need to be able to tolerate the other person.
The last thing that I will share with you is that co-parenting takes two people to succeed. That means that if you and your co-parent are not both engaged in trying to improve at this skill then the relationship will never truly improve. So, do not be discouraged if co-parenting is still difficult for you years after your family law case. When you keep in mind that both parties have to be actively engaged in trying to get better than it should be no surprise if you're relationship has not improved despite your best efforts. You should make do with the relationship that you have and continue to show the other person that you are willing to work with him or her to improve the life of your child. Otherwise, do not be discouraged by the inability or unwillingness of a co-parent to work with you on bettering that relationship.
Questions about the material presented in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material presented in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about the services provided by our office 2 clients and potential clients. We thank you for joining us today on our blog and hope that you will join us again tomorrow as we continue to share more unique information about the world of Texas family law.