Finding Ways To Co-Parent With Your Ex
After a divorce or a breakup with your partner, it will often be necessary to co-parent if you share minor children from your relationship. While Florida courts will, in some cases, determine that only one parent should have child custody, the Florida Statutes make clear that it is public policy in the state of Florida “that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing.” As such, unless there is a clear reason that “shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child,” you will likely be sharing parental responsibility and time-sharing with your ex as part of any child custody arrangement.
Yet as an article in Psychology Today discusses, co-parenting does not come easily to many parents after a divorce. Indeed, it can be difficult to learn ways of effectively co-parenting, particularly when the parents have a somewhat volatile or contentious relationship. Since co-parenting will be extremely important when you share parental responsibility and have time-sharing with your ex, you should consider tips for effective co-parenting.
Understand that Cooperation Will Benefit Your Child’s Mental Health
According to the Psychology Today article, it is critical for parents to frame their understanding of co-parenting in a way that focuses on their child’s mental health and well-being. When ex-spouses are able to cooperate with one another, children tend to experience improvements in their mental health after the divorce because there are able to recognize that their parents do have common ground with one another, and that the parent-child relationship remains just as important as it was—and sometimes even more so—during the marriage.
On the flip side, when parents do not approach the process of co-parenting with an eye toward cooperation for the child’s benefit, the parents “may increase a child’s likelihood of experiencing . . . depression, anxiety, etc.”
Cooperating with Your Ex Will Also Help You to Adjust
Benefits of cooperative co-parenting are not just for the kids. To be sure, parents can also experience enormous benefits by focusing on cooperating with an ex. To be sure, the article points to studies that show “supportive co-parenting is correlated with post-divorce well-being and adjustment” for the parents. Accordingly, you should approach your child custody arrangement, and the process of co-parenting with your ex, through a framework in which you acknowledge that cooperation will also benefit your own mental health and adaptability.
Turning to Communication through Technology
When co-parenting in person or over the phone still feels too difficult, you can turn to communication through technology in order to make interactions with your ex easier and briefer. Emails and texts can be a helpful way to exchange information about time-sharing, and electronic communication can help you to rebuild your ability to communicate with your ex.
Contact a Child Custody Lawyer in Orlando
If you have questions about child custody or time-sharing in Florida, one of our experienced Orlando child custody & timesharing attorneys can speak with you today. Contact Anderson & Ferrin to learn more about how we can help.