If you have already filed for divorce, you may look forward to the day when you no longer have to see your ex frequently. However, if you share children with your ex, a clean break is likely not an option.
You will probably have to share parental authority and parenting time with your ex for as long as your children are minors. Realistically, even after your kids become adults, you’re still going to see your ex at important events like graduations, marriages and the birth of your grandchildren.
It can be very uncomfortable to have to interact with someone for whom you feel hostility. It can be even harder to work together, which is something you will need to do if you want to be the best parents possible. Have you prepared yourself yet for the difficult reality of co-parenting with your former spouse?
Have you gotten on the same page regarding your parenting priorities?
One of the most important things you and your ex need to do during the divorce is to present a unified front to the children. You don’t want to undermine one another, or your children will quickly learn that they can manipulate you and play you against one another for their own benefit.
While there may be a variety of issues that you won’t agree on, you need to find common ground regarding your values and expectations for your children as they continue to grow and mature. Once you do that, it will be much easier to work together to help encourage your children to develop their best lives.
Do you have communication skills and the ability to work through conflict?
The way that you and your ex communicate will definitely influence how effective you are as co-parents. The more hostile your communications are, the harder it will be for you to perceive one another as a source of support and help instead of a source of stress.
Having a way to address conflict and communicate at times when you don’t see eye-to-eye can help. For some couples, communicating through an intermediary that does not involve your children could help. Other times, using written communication can help people better censor themselves because they know there will be a permanent record of what they say.
If you struggle to communicate or resolve issues, working with a counselor either individually or jointly and co-parenting therapy could help you resolve issues that prevent you from being the best possible co-parents.