Learning to co-parent with a former spouse

Divorcing parents in Texas can benefit themselves and their children by learning the ins and outs of positive co-parenting.

To many in Texas, the thought of getting divorced brings up concerns about financial losses as well as the loss of partnership with the other person. For spouses who also have children together, concerns about the children's welfare can also be top of mind.

Among the many decisions to be made for their children's sake during a divorce is the choice of how to work with a former spouse in raising children. Clearly working together as a team can be a challenge if a couple is unable to stay married so is it realistic to think divorced spouses can co-parent well?

What is the premise of co-parenting?

The most fundamental concept guiding co-parenting is that the needs of the kids always come first. Parents who want to truly co-parent must embrace this wholeheartedly as it will mean putting their own wishes or emotions to the side for the good of their children.

As explained by MindBodyGreen, the philosophy of co-parenting is supported by the fact that children do best when they have strong relationships with both of their parents. Anything that interferes with this does not support good co-parenting. For example, making negative statements about the other parent in the presence of the children can hurt a child's relationship with that parent and is something that should never be done.

How can divorced parents communicate?

One of the golden rules of co-parenting is to never put the kids in the middle of the parents. This includes when it comes to communicating. The Huffington Post indicates that moms and dads should assume all communication responsibilities. They should not rely on their children to relay messages back and forth.

For divorced spouses that find direct communication difficult, especially when a divorce is still fresh, Today's Parent suggests that technology may offer some assistance. Not every conversation needs to be in person. Email or even text messages can sometimes be used and even provide records and histories of conversations which may help to reduce miscommunications or forgotten agreements.

There should, however, be some care exercised when leveraging email as a communication tool with a former spouse. If a subject is emotionally charged, parents might want to wait before sending messages in order to ensure that a virtual war over email does not erupt.

Where else can I get help during a divorce?

Texans getting divorced should always work with an experienced family law attorney. This is the best way to make sure that all elements of the divorce are properly handled. This may give parents the peace of mind needed to more appropriately focus on their children at this time.