Being a divorced father who is co-parenting with an ex-wife can certainly be difficult — especially if the father and mother don’t get along. This being said, parenting is something that doesn’t end at a certain age. A father’s role is not over in his son or daughter’s life once he or she reaches the age of 18. This means co-parenting also continues on, which is why it’s important for both parents to be able to work together from the very start to be able to keep a strong bond with their children.
But just how does someone do this?
The first thing to do is set aside personal differences. Even if you cannot stand your ex-wife, the courts will look more highly on a father who is willing to work with the other parent in order to maintain a bond with their child. Additionally, since co-parenting goes on for quite some time, setting aside personal differences and being friendly and tolerant of an ex-wife can make parenting a lot easier for the long run.
This being said, even when there was a bitter and contentious divorce, parents need to be on the same page when it comes to raising their children. This means that as children turn into teens and young adults, it’s crucial to come to some sort of an agreement with an ex-wife on things like curfews, driving rules and dating. Consistency is key when it comes to co-parenting.
Lastly, while it may be difficult to try and communicate with an ex over parenting responsibilities, keep in mind that there are limits and that you no longer need to live together or make the marriage work. Rather you just need to keep in mind the best interests of your children and co-parent together.
Source: Huffington Post, “Co-Parenting Until Death Do You Part,” Lisa Helfend Meyer, Sept. 13, 2012
Fathers want to make sure to maintain their rights as a parent after a divorce or break up. To learn more about our practice, please visit our St. Louis fathers’ rights page.