When you got married, did your friends and family members describe you and your spouse as two peas in a pod? Perhaps, you married your best friend. On the hand, you might be one of many Ohio spouses who say they married someone who was their complete opposite. In fact, many people say they’d much rather be married to someone whose personality was different from their own.
Being similar as spouses or starkly different doesn’t guarantee that your relationship will stay intact for the rest of your life. No matter how carefully planned or thoroughly thought out ahead of time, relationships can crumble when certain problem issues remain unresolved for too long. Filing for divorce, however, doesn’t mean you wish to abdicate your parental obligations. Your children are likely to fare best if you and your ex forge a peaceful, cooperative co-parenting plan.
How to do that
By keeping your children’s best interests in mind, you and your co-parent can create a plan that allows both of you to maintain active, healthy roles in their lives. The following list includes things you’ll want to agree to do and others you’ll want to agree to avoid:
- Successful co-parenting is much more possible if both parents agree to be respectful of each other at all times.
- Timeliness is a key factor of a solid co-parenting plan. Agree that you will do your best to always be on time and to let each other know if unforeseen issues are causing a delay.
- It’s always best to agree to view your post-divorce parenting relationship as teamwork. After all, you both love your children and want what’s best for them.
- Speaking negatively about your ex isn’t going to strengthen the bonds you have with your children. Successful co-parenting means you’ll agree to avoid any negative speech about each other, especially within earshot of your kids.
- Avoid changing agreed-upon plans without first communicating with your co-parent. If you agreed to meet at your children’s school at a certain time, it’s not polite to call at the last minute and change pickup locations.
- If you want your co-parenting arrangement to work well, you’ll be sure to adhere to the terms of an existing court order. Not only does it help keep things peaceful between you and your ex, it also helps you avoid serious legal problems.
You may have mixed feelings about your ex, which is only natural, especially if your marriage lasted 10 or more years. If you let negative feelings get in the way of a peaceful co-parenting plan, however, your children may be the ones who suffer most.
If you agree to cooperate and compromise, and know where to seek support if a legal issue arises that you don’t feel equipped to handle on your own, chances of successfully co-parenting with your ex are high. Many Ohio couples are able to leave the past behind and move on in life as parents whose children’s best interests are their highest priority.