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Doing what it takes: Tips for coparenting during the divorce, part 1

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Child Custody, Children's Issues, Divorce, Parenting Plans, Visitation and Time-Sharing

How will you guide and support your minor children through the divorce process? For most parents, this concern is top of mind despite their own personal and legal challenges that can arise during the proceedings. Today we share thoughts about how to better co-parent with your soon-to-be ex-spouse in this time of limbo between filing for divorce and the final divorce decree.

The bottom line for parents in this position is to approach co-parenting in a way that keeps their kids’ best interests as the guiding star throughout the transition to a different family structure.

Stay above the din 

For many families, the onset of divorce creates high stress around how the family will function with this interruption in routine and expectations. You and your spouse will need to quickly make decisions about living arrangements, parenting time and transportation responsibilities. This will minimize disruption to the children’s lives.

It is probably smart to prevent big changes for them. They will have much to contend with, even if your divorce is not high conflict. Adjustment to the fundamental transformation of your family is enough for them to navigate.

You may consult a family lawyer to get advice about this transition time. An attorney can help you negotiate a temporary agreement about parenting time, which you would submit to the court. You can also discuss with the lawyer relief you can request from the court during the time the divorce is pending like temporary use of the family residence, temporary child support and/or alimony, temporary time-sharing if you did not agree and other temporary relief.

Your demeanor and communication style

The stress may be at an all-time high, but a parent should try to keep their personal anxieties to themselves when the kids are present. Children are not sounding boards for parents to bounce negative thoughts off about the divorce or the other parent. They need calm, reassuring, clear communication about what is happening and what the future may look like.

It is generally good to answer their questions truthfully but in a way that is appropriate to their age and maturity. Experts say not to badmouth or gossip about your spouse in front of your shared children. Even if you feel that your spouse may deserve it, it is not good for the children to absorb your negative opinions about their other parent.

Keeping the lines of communication open and civil with the other parent makes it so both parents can peacefully go to the child’s sporting events, recitals or concerts, graduations, birthday parties, religious ceremonies, school conferences and other notable events. This continuity in their lives can be stabilizing for kids at a challenging time.

In part 2 of this post, we will continue our discussion of co-parenting during a pending divorce proceeding.

 

 

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The LAW OFFICES OF FORREST & Forrest, PLLC represents individuals in Fort Lauderdale in high-asset divorce matters. Daniel Forrest is board-certified family lawyer and mediator serving the South Florida area.

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