Once the divorce is over for parents in New Jersey, they still may be co-parents for many years. This can be challenging, but it is important to focus on making sure their children are stable and happy. For example, even though there is a parenting schedule, there might be a time when one parent has the opportunity to do something fun with the child during the other parent’s time. The other parent should consider being flexible and allowing this.
Parents need to be able to communicate with one another. They may need to take a co-parenting class or consider family therapy. There are also alternatives to speaking on the phone or face-to-face. They can use text, email or online tools designed for divorced parents to communicate. Above all, their children should not be turned into messengers. Parents should also try to present a unified front. This means trying to keep schedules, discipline and rules the same between homes to give children a greater sense of security.
Parents may struggle with the idea that they will miss important moments in the other child’s life, but they can still be included. A parent could send the other parent a text or photo about a good report card or a piece of art. Parents should also try to be positive about one another in front of children.
In the middle of a divorce, it may be hard for parents to look ahead to the co-parenting years, but those years may be less difficult if they try to cooperate with one another during the divorce process as well. It can be difficult for parents to cope with the idea of not being with their children full time, but most professionals agree that children benefit from being able to maintain a relationship with both parents after divorce.