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Child custody clients often contact their Pennsylvania Custody Attorney after a custody order is in place asking questions about the day-to-day logistics of co-parenting. Of course, a well-drafted custody order accounts for all aspects of a custody arrangement involving minor children, but often, carrying out this agreement becomes very difficult. The Huffington Post recently included an article dealing with the ways to remove the stress from a co-parenting situation.
The number one reason to avoid a situation where you are arguing and fighting with your ex-spouse in a custody situation is because you do not want this anger/resentment to trickle down and affect your children. To avoid catching your children in the middle of your issues with your ex, follow these tips for minimizing co-parenting stress:
1. Limit the Questions. Do not badger your children with questions about the time they spent with your ex. Wait until they come to you with questions or issues. If something is not going right, your kids will tell you about it. Otherwise, asking your children tons of questions every time they come back from their other parent's house may give them the perception that you do not like them spending time with their other parent.
2. Plan things together. Creating a plan with your ex will lessen the negativity close to holidays and important events in your children's lives. Knowing that a holiday is coming up or an important day for your children, make sure you have the entire day coordinated with your ex. Allowing your feelings to get in the way without proper planning could ruin an otherwise memorable day for your children.
3. Keep your feelings to yourself. Avoid speaking negatively about your ex in front of your kids. This will just put your children in an uncomfortable situation. To foster a healthy relationship with your kids, minimize the trash-talking of your ex-spouse.
4. Learn how to be in the same room as your ex. There are many situations where you will have to be at the same events for your children and spending time together. Make sure you are amicable enough that spending a few hours in the same building will not be catastrophic.
5. Do not try to "compete" with your ex. Coordinate giving gifts to your children so as to avoid competing for your children's affection. Send your ex photographs of fun things you do with the kids so that they can share in the moment, not so that they see the expensive or "cool" things you are doing with the kids.
Lastly, remember that no matter what, you will both always be the parents of your child(ren). If you approach co-parenting from the standpoint that you will have to get along with your ex for the benefit of your children's growth and development, you will be able to get through some of the small arguments and fights keeping the big picture in mind.