In post-divorce parenting, stability is the key
It used to be the case in many parts of the U.S. that when parents got divorced, one parent would be granted sole custody. More often than not, it was the mother. But times are changing, and courts are increasingly trying to award joint custody when possible – or at least significant visitation rights to the non-custodial parent.
With the move toward joint child custody, many former couples are finding that they need to develop a workable co-parenting relationship with an ex-spouse. Thankfully, there is no shortage of advice on peaceful co-parenting strategies, which often overlaps with advice on helping children cope with divorce.
A recent Huffington Post article does a good job of summing up common tips. The overarching message seems to be that good parenting after divorce should look a lot like good parenting prior to divorce. This includes:
- Maintaining a stable home environment for the kids, including consistent rules
- Being the same type of parent you were prior to the divorce rather than trying to be the “fun” or “cool” parent
- Expecting the kids to maintain good grades and good behavior and not letting them use the divorce as an excuse for slips in these areas
- Talking to your kids about the divorce without messy details they don’t need to know
- Working with your ex-spouse to present a united front, which means no disparaging the other parent
A common piece of wisdom that bears repeating is the idea that stability and structure are perhaps the most important things you can give your kids during and after divorce. Indeed, it will likely be a relief for kids to realize that their parents are just as uncool and just as dependable as they always were.
If you’re going through a child custody dispute, you need to make sure that your wishes are being heard and advocated for. An experienced family law attorney can help you through this difficult process and work for an outcome that is best for you and your children.
Source: The Huffington Post, “5 Reminders for Divorced Moms and Dads,” Meerabelle Dey, April 4, 2015