The Texas Family Code states that allowing both parents to jointly share custody is in the best interests of their children, unless other circumstances could hamper the children’s emotional or physical well-being. This is one of the reasons you may consider co-parenting following your divorce. Co-parenting arrangements allow your children to maintain close relationships with each parent, learn about respectful problem solving and reassure that both parents want what is best for them.
Although co-parenting is often beneficial, it can be difficult to make a shared parenting arrangement work after divorce. These strategies can make sharing parental responsibilities easier and more beneficial for your children.
- Separate your feelings
After you finalize your divorce, feelings of resentment, anger and disappointment may linger. Try to put these feelings aside and commit to working together as a team with your former spouse to parent your children.
Refrain from venting to your children about frustrations you have with your parenting partner. Instead, talk to a therapist, a good friend or a family member when you need to let off steam.
- Find good ways to communicate
Consistent communication with your co-parent is essential to a successful shared parenting plan. Find the best way to make ongoing communication a priority, whether that involves sending weekly emails, texting as needed or speaking over the phone.
- Strive for consistency
Your children should live under the same set of rules and expectations at your home and your former spouse’s residence. You should also try to maintain some form of consistency with your children’s schedules to foster a greater sense of security. Try to implement similar schedules at each household for mealtimes, bedtimes, homework and other activities.
- Make important decisions together
Do not try to get away with making major decisions about your children’s medical care, education and future without speaking with your former spouse. Instead, talk to your parenting partner openly and honestly before you make choices about your children and their ongoing well-being.