Going from parenting with your ex to doing it alone can be difficult. But if you no longer get along and get divorced, there is a parenting arrangement that can help you provide for your children together without having to relying on one another.
When divorced couples desire minimal contact with one another and hope to make their own rules in their new households, they can try a parallel parenting arrangement. Through parallel parenting, you can take a less collaborative and more business-like approach to communicating with your ex-spouse. Meaning you probably won’t attend your child-related events together and you will adhere to strict pick-up and drop-off times.
If you choose this route, here are three ways to help strengthen your plan:
1) Use a calendar site or app: Scheduling short- and long-term obligations and sticking to a schedule can help both parents make all important appointments for their child. It can also reduce last-minute schedule change requests or disagreements. Plus, if you use online site like Google Calendar or an app like FamCal, then each parent can easily add to the calendar without ever having to be face-to-face.
2) Set aside time for check-ins: Even if you want to avoid your ex-spouse as much as you can, it’s important to establish some kind of relationship. When you aren’t a couple anymore, you can still try and be cordial for your little ones. Although, this can be difficult, it’s better to have a planned bi-monthly call or meeting rather than having your ex bottle up issues they have and approach you in an angry manner.
3) Let kids be kids: When you don’t see your ex very often or your interactions are brief, you might have child-related messages you want to pass along. But it’s important to not fall in a trap of asking your child to “please tell mom this” or “don’t forget to tell dad that.” The message you are hoping they deliver might be simple or neutral, but when a child has to act as a messenger they might feel uncomfortable or stressed by this responsibility.
Divorce comes with major change, no doubt. But having plans in place, especially when it comes to parenting, can help make your home life a lot easier.