Continuing to parent with an ex-spouse after divorce is by no means easy. Being a parent is challenging enough and navigating parenting after a divorce can create even more complications.
Knowing about these challenges can help parents manage them better. So, here are some of the most common issues that divorced parents might run into while they get used to co-parenting.
It is common for ex-spouses to say some negative things about each other. After all, there are still a lot of emotions to work through after a divorce, including resentment and anger.
While these emotions are understandable, many sources state that badmouthing an ex-spouse in front of kids can have a significant impact on them, as well as their relationship with both parents.
2. Lack of communication
Regular communication is essential for co-parenting to work. Parents must keep each other updated about:
- Any issues or changes in their child's life
- Plans to take a vacation or relocate
- Schedule changes or conflicts
But when parents live separately, communication can be a challenge. It is also possible that ex-spouses do not want to speak with each other. However, communication is critical to co-parent effectively.
3. Disregarding the custody agreement
During the divorce proceedings, parents should create a custody agreement that establishes:
- Each parent's scheduled parenting time
- The strategy for making decisions regarding the child
- Rules and responsibilities for parents to follow
- Rules for children and parenting duties
The goal of this agreement is to help co-parents establish common ground to build off of and provide consistency for the children in both parents' households.
However, parents might change the rules at their house or avoid disciplining children at all. This can cause conflict between the parents and disrupt the stability of a child's life.
There are many reasons parents might not follow the custody agreement. They might be uncooperative because they want more parenting time or disagree with the agreement. Or, they might also be competing with the other parent.
It is also common for divorced parents to compete with each other. They might try to outdo the other by giving the best or most expensive birthday gift or avoid discipline to be the "fun parent."
This is dangerous for both the children and the co-parenting relationship in the long run.
It is possible to handle these challenges
It can take some time for parents to find a co-parenting strategy that works for them. But remember, it is possible to have a healthy co-parenting relationship.
If Kentucky parents respect the fact that they are both still their children's parent and put their children first, then they can manage co-parenting effectively.