You divorced your ex-spouse for a reason. But even before the divorce is final, it is abundantly clear that parenting plans mean that you will still have to work together to successfully raise happy and healthy children.
Not only is it possible, but it is even likely that you and your spouse did not see eye-to-eye on the rules. Ideally you agreed on the the big or important things, but perhaps each of you had a different parenting style. Many concessions were made during the marriage to not send too many mixed signals to your child(ren), but now with two homes' things can move further in apart.
Talking points for having some general rules
It's a good idea to talk with the ex and discuss what is acceptable and what is not. Here are some good ground rules presented in the Huffington Post:
- Do not speak ill of the other parent or discuss their bad behavior even when it is true.
- Try to keep the bed times around the same time, adjusting for weekends and holidays.
- Be mindful of schedule changes, which may even be a part of the parenting plan. Committing your child to activities during the other parent's time without consultation can cause frustration.
- Try to be flexible and cooperative coparents at all times.
- Try to avoid inconsistent parenting between yourself and your ex.
- Do not pass judgment on the parenting skills of the other spouse. What works for them may not work for you, but if there is no harm to the child(ren), roll with it.
Finding that middle ground
The key here is communication between the parents, to show an open approach and have flexibility to find consensus. Many parents actually worked quite well together in regards to the kids, and it was issues not involving the kids that were the issue. Others will have to work at it, but the children's welfare should always be the priority. Next time you find yourself annoyed or downright angry, ask yourself whether you are putting yourself or your child(ren) first. In the event that a serious disagreement arises, you may choose to sonsult with an experienced Board-certified Family Law expert attorney about your legal options.