Your divorce will bring changes to virtually every member of a Nebraska family, including your children. You understand the changes and the transitions necessitated by a divorce can be emotionally and mentally challenging for your children, but there are steps you can take that will allow you to protect their well-being during this time. For many families, this means choosing to co-parent and opting for a joint custody arrangement.
Co-parenting requires two parents to work closely together on most matters that pertain to their kids. While this may seem like an insurmountable challenge in the midst of your divorce, it may be possible if both parents choose to set aside their temporary feelings and prioritize the best interests of the kids above everything else. It may not be an easy journey, but there are specific things you can do that will increase your chance of success with your co-parenting arrangement.
Minimize difficulty in your co-parenting plan
The more thorough your co-parenting plan, the less likely it will be that you experience complications that could lead to disputes or issues that could impact your children. Steps that may prove useful as you seek to make your co-parenting plan as easy as possible include the following:
- Set clear boundaries regarding what is acceptable behavior when one parent has the children, when last-minute changes are possible, how children can access extended family members and more.
- Have a set schedule regarding when each parent will have the kids, how the transfer between homes will happen and the procedure when last-minute disruptions to the existing schedule are necessary.
- Minimize the amount of stuff transferred between homes. Keep ample stock of toys, clothes, favorite foods, stuffed animals and other items at each house so that children will be less likely to forget things.
- Avoid speaking badly about the other parent in front of the children, even when it is difficult. This can affect how the children view their other parent, and negativity can be harmful long-term.
- Have a procedure in place for communicating with each other about the children. It is also helpful to have a system ready by which you can resolve problems in case they arise while you are co-parenting.
There is no one-size-fits-all co-parenting arrangement. What will work best for you depends on the details of the individual situation and the needs of your children. When discussing the details of your co-parenting plan, you will benefit from considering the protection of your kids as the main priority, even above your own feelings.