Divorces can proceed in many ways, but the worst outcome for future co-parenting relationships involves the use of scorched-earth tactics by either side. That can make it incredibly challenging to preserve the co-parenting relationship between the divorcing couple.
Let’s examine 5 ways to preserve healthy relationships during and after the divorce.
1. Keep the Focus on the Kids
If you want your children to forge positive intimate relationships as adults, it helps to be in control of negative emotions while going through a divorce since the kids are looking to their parents for their cues on how to behave while dealing with a difficult and emotional situation.
By keeping your children foremost in all of your decisions during the divorce process, you lay the groundwork for future collaborative parenting.
2. How You Can Help to Lay the Groundwork
A divorce is a traumatic event for all who are involved. Children can suffer unnecessarily because they could erroneously assume that they were the cause of the divorce. Even though that could not be further from the truth, it does children a great disservice to leave them with that false impression.
Therapy, both for the children and their divorcing parents, can help sort out any negative emotions and allow everyone to process hurt feelings in a protective environment. Both co-parents and their children can learn techniques to make it easier to communicate their feelings without unleashing recriminations and falling back on old agendas.
3. You Can Choose Not to Litigate
Litigated divorces (going to court) can lead to a lot of negative emotions between co-parents. Kids are quick to pick up on every negative nuance and bitter word exchanged between the parents they care about and look up to.
You have the right and the option to choose a divorce process that preserves your co-parenting relationship post-divorce. A Collaborative Divorce or Divorce Mediation can do the following:
- Keep the case out of the courtroom
- Allow the co-parents to remain in control of the divorce terms
- Be creative when devising the best parenting plan for your family
Leaving the custody and visitation decisions up to the family law judge is a gamble. You can wind up with an order that fails to serve the best interests of your children or your own schedules, not because the judge is insensitive to your situation but because the court can only spend so much time on each matter.
4. Making Decisions in a Collaborative Divorce or Divorce Mediation
In the Collaborative Divorce or Mediation processes, the co-parents can carve out a workable custody agreement and a co-parenting plan that reflects the family’s unique circumstances. Instead of expensive courtroom battles over every issue, you don’t go to the judge until everything has been agreed upon between the divorcing spouses.
Collaborative Divorce also helps to avoid the problem of mud-slinging, which is certainly counterproductive to a healthy co-parenting relationship. Engaging in divorce mediation rather than litigating has the added benefit of allowing a divorcing couple’s children to see that there are ways to communicate that are productive, civil, and results-oriented.
5. Make the Right Choices When You Divorce
While Mediation or Collaborative Divorce may not be the solution for every divorcing couple, it is worth considering if you have minor children. Learning more about the Collaborative Divorce process can expand your options.
If you are considering a divorce, contact Kim Mediation and Law Center for a consultation.