Personal Injury Lawyer
Our personal injury lawyers see daily how physical injuries can be harmful to families, especially those with children that have to see their parents hurt. Something that many may not think of are also the psychological injuries children suffer from major life events such as divorce. The nature of divorce means that it is often contentious according to a family lawyer with our friends at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. And what is already an antagonistic process is only made more difficult when children are involved. Though, as difficult as it is, getting a custody order is only the beginning of the co-parenting relationship. Nonetheless, it is entirely possible to have a healthy and productive co-parenting relationship while navigating your new family structure. Below are a few tips which will make the process smoother.
It is especially important to stay mindful of your emotions and motivations influencing the parenting decisions you make post-divorce. At the core of all decisions should be the wellbeing of the children involved. This was the primary concern of the court when deciding the specifics of your custody order, and it is expected that parents carry the same concern going forward. While no-one is required to like their ex, negative emotions surrounding them, or the recently dissolved relationship must be a non-factor in decisions surrounding the child. If both parents are competent and of no threat to the child, it is in the child’s best interest to have a relationship with both parents. Decisions made to spite the other parents will inevitably harm the children as well.
Consider co-parenting apps
Communication is essential to co-parenting. However, if your relationship with your ex-spouse is particularly difficult, it may be best to limit in-person or telephone communication. For some, this may mean communicating primarily through text. The asynchronous communication that texting provides can temper emotions and impulsivity, allowing for a more cordial relationship between you and your ex. However, others need a more goal-focused and accountability-encouraging communication option. Apps like Our Family Wizard consolidate information regarding your parenting arrangement, as well as provide a messaging platform. My Family Wizard features a shared calendar, a messaging board which disallows editing or deleting, and an expense long, among other tools which allow for efficient, miscommunication-free co-parenting.
Be reasonably flexible
Being understanding of and accommodating towards unexpected happenings in your co-parent’s schedule can go a long way towards building a mutually beneficial co-parenting relationship. Making small allowances such as authorizing your child’s vacation with the other parent to run a day into your scheduled time or agreeing to pick up the children from somewhere other than the usual spot increases the chance that your ex will return the favor when you inevitably have to make similar requests.
Make sure large modifications go through the court
While flexibility is good, more substantial, or long-term changes should be made through the court in order to provide legal protection to both parents. This doesn’t necessarily mean to jump straight to litigation, which carries a hefty price tag and runs the risk of establishing a new order that is less satisfactory than the prior one. Avenues such as mediation allow both parties to express what is important to them and reach a mutually satisfactory compromise without jumping directly into a courtroom. And if both parents agree entirely to any potential modification, even this may be unnecessary. In such cases, the modification process may be complete in only a matter of days and incur only limited expenses, such as the court filing fee.
If you are facing a divorce, contact a family lawyer in your area for help.