Now that you are in the midst of a divorce, you may feel as though your children were the best thing to come out of your marriage. Perhaps you wouldn't have a problem never speaking to your future former spouse again, but you know that you will have to communicate somehow since you still have children to raise.
You may not have a high opinion of your soon-to-be ex, but you can't deny that he or she loves your children and wants to remain in their lives as much as possible after the divorce. You know that your children need both of you in their lives in order to thrive and get through this transition, but you have no illusions that co-parenting is out of the question, at least for the foreseeable future.
What can you do?
You could try parallel parenting, which allows you to parent without dealing with your ex except when necessary. If the following sounds familiar, then this may be the best option for you and your ex, at least for now:
- Anytime you try to communicate, it turns into an argument.
- You are willing to hammer out a detailed parenting plan and both agree to follow it.
- You have no trouble respecting the relationship your ex has with the children, and vice versa.
- You can relinquish control over the children's daily activities when the kids are with the other parent.
- You agree that you need to make major decisions such as schooling, health care, religion and more with the other parent.
- You agree to keep any communication only about the children and take a business-like approach to it. These communications will take place via email or text, but not in person or over the phone.
Perhaps the most important aspect of your child custody issues is that you both want what is best for your children. Putting aside your feelings long enough to put together a parenting plan that everyone can live with will probably make all the difference for your children as you move into the future and start your new lives.
You and the other parent may find that, as time passes, you heal emotionally and communicate better with each other. If that happens, it would only benefit the children and your separate relationships with them. Even if that does not happen, you found a way to continue being loving, supportive parents regardless of your personal relationship.