When you determined that divorce was the most viable option to resolve your marital problems, you likely understood that your decision was going to affect your children's lives. Such situations do not necessarily have to mean that your children will be unable to cope or will not successfully adapt to a new lifestyle. In fact, studies show that kids In Oregon and beyond are quite resilient and adaptable in most cases, especially when they have the loving support of both their parents as they move on in life.
It's true that most children take cues from their parents' behavior, so the way you and your ex handle your co-parenting situation may greatly influence your children's ability to come to terms with your divorce. There are several key issues that can help you make the best of your new co-parenting relationship.
Determine priorities and make them the focus
No matter what happened to cause your marital relationship to decline, like most good parents, you want what is best for your kids. If you and your ex disagree about how to interpret that, you can reach for outside support to help you resolve problematic situations. In the meantime, the following ideas may help you keep the peace and work toward common goals:
- Keep adult issues between adults. If your kids feel like you and their other parent are dragging them into the problems between you, they may feel stressed and uncertain how to react.
- When you and your ex agree to keep your children's best interests in mind, your kids are the ones who will benefit most.
- Choose your form of communication carefully. If you tend to argue when you discuss your kids in person, then consider using text messaging, email or written notes to discuss matters of importance to avoid contentious situations.
- Choosing your battles is just as important as choosing the most effective means of communication. You both love your kids, so it's in the best interest of all involved if both parents are willing to cooperate and compromise as needed.
- Use appropriate measures to resolve serious issues. If your ex makes you angry, it doesn't give you license to disobey an existing court order by refusing to exchange custody or otherwise ignoring the terms of your co-parenting agreement.
At the same time, if your ex refuses to obey the terms of your agreement, you do not have to sit back and do nothing. You can protect your parental rights and your children's best interests by engaging the steps Oregon law has in place to help parents resolve child custody, visitation or support problems.