Getting divorced in Michigan is often difficult under any circumstances. Divorces often become more complicated and contentious when there are minor children from the marriage. When a married couple has children together, getting divorced does not totally sever their relationship to one another. Instead, most Michigan courts expect parents to engage in co-parenting, and to share in parenting time and the numerous tasks required for raising their kids. Although co-parenting might come naturally to some parties who are planning to get divorced or who have recently dissolved the marriage, co-parenting usually takes work for most couples. Indeed, co-parenting might even seem impossible for some people, particularly when the parties are involved in a contentious battle over property division or another aspect of the divorce.
Yet co-parenting is essential in most cases to help children through the divorce, and to ensure that children are able to thrive after the divorce, according to an article in Psychology Today. In order to be successful at co-parenting, what do you need to know? The following are some tips to make co-parenting work.
Always be There for Your Children
Even if you are having difficulty coming to an agreement about a variety of issues with your soon-to-be-ex spouse, both parents should make a point of being present-both in physical and emotional terms-for their children. The article in Psychology Today emphasizes that spending actual time with the child matters, and that it is difficult if not impossible for a parent to develop a quality relationship with his or her children without being physically present. Being physically present is only part of parenting. It is also essential to be emotionally present for your child, whether the child is spending time with you or the other parent.
Even if you cannot get along with the child’s other parent, making a point of being there for your children is the first step in co-parenting.
Consider Outlining Co-Parenting Terms With the Other Parent
It can be difficult to engage with your ex, but many parents find it helpful after divorce to set terms with the other parent when it comes to co-parenting. You might already have developed a parenting plan with the other parent to be approved by the court, which details, for example, the amount of time each parent will spend with the child, how holidays will be split, and how important decisions about the child’s upbringing will be made. It can also be useful for parents to come to an agreement about their relationship with one another while they are co-parenting. For example, the parents might outline terms about methods of contact with one another regarding the children, maintaining open communication channels, or strategies that each of the parents will use to support the child’s relationship with the other parent.
Learn More About How Family Therapy can Help During and After Divorce
Family therapy can be extremely beneficial for all members of a family both during and after a divorce. In addition, family therapy can help with co-parenting. If the parents are struggling with co-parenting, they can speak with a therapist to improve their working relationship for the sake of their children.
Contact a Michigan Divorce Lawyer