There is no question that going through a divorce can prove to be a rather harrowing experience for most men. On the one hand, you may feel great joy as you are no longer caught in an otherwise unhappy relationship and are free to start down a new path in life. On the other hand, you may have difficulty adjusting to new surroundings and, of course, new child custody arrangements.
Indeed, the idea of co-parenting can rapidly emerge as one of the most difficult and stressful aspects of post-divorce life for many fathers, as differing values and parenting views coupled with lingering feelings of resentment or even sadness can lead to frequent arguments or even return trips to the courtroom to resolve issues.
Fortunately, experts indicate that it is not impossible for fathers to successfully co-parent with their former spouse both before and after a divorce.
In today’s post, we’ll take a brief look at a few tips offered by experts for helping put fathers on the path toward healthy co-parenting.
Keep the lines of communication open: It goes without saying that co-parenting is most successful when both parents are willing to be open and honest with one another while also maintaining an open mind. If this situation sounds too good to be true, experts remind fathers to remain positive and take small steps toward reaching this seemingly insurmountable goal.
For instance, it may involve confining communications with a former spouse about the children to emails and text messages in the beginning, as it gives you time to carefully consider responses and keep a calm demeanor (as well as a record of communication). Once this becomes comfortable, the next step may be telephone conversations and so on.
Above all else, experts urge fathers to take whatever steps necessary to secure a healthy mindset about co-parenting as it not only benefits them, but their children.
Be open to seeking help: If the road to the aforementioned open and honest co-parenting perhaps seems too difficult, experts encourage fathers to consider the many resources available to them, including both family counseling and individual counseling. This step may help them gain a better understanding of their feelings and put them in a better place moving forward.
While these tips are certainly valuable in helping fathers move toward successful co-parenting, it’s important to understand that sometimes custody/visitation issues cannot be resolved among parents despite their best efforts and that legal action may prove necessary. In these situations, it’s important for fathers to have a legal professional dedicated to protecting their rights and their best interests by their side.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Divorce confidential: tips for successful and healthy co-parenting,” Caroline Choi, May 9, 2014