Should you and your spouse decide to divorce, your immediate attention should turn to the well-being of your children. There are things the both of you can do to provide stability and ensure that they receive all the support they need during this difficult time.

Once your divorce is in the past, co-parenting will be a big part of your life. You hope that you and your ex always get along, but you should expect to confront challenges along the way.

Here are some tips you can follow to successfully co-parent after divorce:

  • Leave your feelings out of it: Regardless of why you divorced and the feelings you have for one another, don’t let them creep into your new relationship. Right now, the only thing that matters is providing your children with the life they deserve.
  • Don’t turn disagreements into arguments: No matter how hard you try, there will be times when you and your ex disagree. For example, you may have different ideas about bed times and homework. It’s important to discuss key details such as these, but you must do so in a respectful manner. Don’t let every disagreement turn into an argument.
  • Follow your parenting plan and visitation schedule: You created both of these during your divorce, so now’s the time to put them to good use. These legally binding documents are designed to provide protection, so lean on them as you co-parent.
  • Don’t get in the way: You love spending time with your children, but so does your ex. When they’re together, stay out of the way. Not only does this help prevent arguments, but it’s also healthy for your children.
  • Don’t let problems linger: If there’s something eating at you, such as if your ex continually violates the visitation agreement, express your concerns and work together to figure things out. Don’t sweep problems under the rug, as they’ll eventually return.

When you follow these tips, you’ll find it easier to successfully co-parent after divorce. It doesn’t mean you’ll never face trouble, but there’s a better chance of staying on the same path.

If your ex has set out to make life miserable by using your children against you, it may be time to seek a modification of your custody order and/or parenting agreement.