Having to co-parent with your ex-partner, is probably not something you ever planned to do, but life rarely goes the way we expect. It can be daunting and stressful to work out how you can get your routine to something stable quickly, especially if you have never been in or around a situation like this before. It is, however, important for your children to get everything sorted as soon as possible while aiming to stay calm and consistent. Here are a few tips to help you:
1. Don’t use your children as a middle man.
Whatever issues you have with your ex-partner after your break up, don’t use your child as a messenger; you need to speak to each other. You can keep the rest of your lives separate, but you need to be able to talk to each other about your children. Using your child as a messenger will put them in the middle of whatever your conflict is, and may make them feel like they have to choose between their parents. This can be distressing and have a negative impact on their lives.
Make sure that you talk to each other. If you don’t want to talk face to face or over the phone, arrange to text or email. As long as you are communicating about your child, that is all that matters.
2. Try to set a schedule.
If possible, you should try and come up with a consistent schedule. This may not always be possible, but if you can, it is something that you should try and stick to. Having a weekly schedule will help keep your child’s life stable and consistent so they know what to expect and whose house they will be at. This doesn’t mean there isn’t room for flexibility; your days might switch if there is an event on or when it comes to family celebrations. There is no need to say no just for the sake of it.
A daily schedule is also important. The rules don’t need to be exactly the same at both houses, but for consistency, they should be similar. Try to ensure that your children go to bed and eat meals at similar times so that your children feel secure and comfortable.
3. Help your child celebrate special occasions.
You need to help your child to buy cards and presents for your ex-partner’s birthdays, Christmas, mother’s or father’s day, and any other occasion that you celebrate. It may not be something that you want to do, but children do not have the money to do this on their own, and you don’t want to leave them feeling guilty or embarrassed for not getting them anything. Your feelings need to be put aside for the sake of your children.
If co-parenting doesn’t work out and you are having a lot of issues with your ex-partner, you may have to contact an AG Law child support lawyer. They will be able to help you with any disagreements and with things like child support.