As family law attorneys with experience in child custody, we understand that co-parenting can be challenging. This can be especially difficult when your relationship with the other parent is strained. However, co-parenting together in a civil manner is in the best interest of your child or children. The state of Florida makes every divorcing couple with children take a co-parenting course to help achieve this goal. If you are struggling with your co-parenting relationship, we are happy to offer some ideas that many of our clients have found beneficial.
Vent to a Trusted Friend
Co-parenting can be a struggle even for married couples at times. One way people may choose to cope with the stress of parenting is to vent to a close friend. However, during and after a divorce, there may be a tendency to stay silent so as not to “air our dirty laundry.” Then frustrations build up over time. This can lead to unproductive behaviors. These behaviors could include things like saying negative things about the other parent in front of the children. Instead of letting your frustrations compound, choose to speak about them with a friend first.
Listen to Your Children
There is a difference between truly listening and just hearing. If your children say something that leads you to be concerned about their mental health or physical wellbeing, stop and listen. Ask questions. Repeat back to them what you think the children are saying. If they have expressed difficult with the other parent and you believe they are in any type of danger, you may need to talk to a child custody attorney. It is also recommended that you write down exactly what was said. Also make note of when it was said in case you need to share this at a later time.
Take the High Road
It may not be the easy road, but a good course of action is to choose to remain responsive not reactive. Children often perceive much about their circumstances even when they are not directly included. Refrain from insulting your child’s other parent, forcing the children to become your go-between, or other unproductive behaviors. As far as it depends on you, make every effort to remain neutral when speaking with your children about their other parent. If you find this is difficult to achieve on your own, reach out to a therapist or close friend for additional support.
Wagstaff & Pitelis Is a Florida Child Custody Attorney
Whether you need the help of a child custody attorney during your divorce or if you might benefit from the assistance of a child custody attorney as you set up or revise your child custody agreement, call Wagstaff & Pitelis. Family law is our specialty. Call us today at (727) 584-8182 if you need a child custody attorney or the expertise of a family lawyer.