If you are going through the divorce process, you may be feeling a mixture of anger, shame and frustration. However, you cannot allow your children to see what you are going through as it can have an effect on them as well. Even if you hate your former spouse, you may need to work with this person to raise your child. How can you do this in an effective manner?
Modeling Good Behavior is Essential for Your Kids
One way of helping your child through a divorce is to model good behavior around your former spouse. By showing the child that you are still willing to work with the other parent, it demonstrates what a healthy relationship looks like. This will be helpful in the future when the child begins dating or developing other close relationships. The child will see that compromise and communication are always more effective than manipulation and lies.
Create a Clear Divorce Plan Regarding Your Child
To reduce conflict between yourself and your former spouse, it may be a good idea to create a parenting plan as part of the divorce settlement. This will spell out who gets the child during the week, on weekends or on holidays. It may also determine who pays for the child's school clothes, gifts or other costs related to raising the child. Having a clear plan makes it easier to establish the guidelines of your new relationship and focus solely on raising an emotionally stable and self-sufficient child.
What Happens After the Child Turns 18?
In some cases, it may be necessary to provide maintenance for children over 18. This may be true if the child is still in high school or if you agreed to pay tuition costs for the child to attend college. Maintenance may also be required for adult children with special needs. Furthermore, if you don't request to terminate support payments when the child turns 18, you are required to keep paying until you do. The support order does not automatically terminate.
Separate Your Personal and Professional Relationships
As a coparent, your relationship with your former spouse is a business arrangement aimed at helping your child become an upstanding adult. When you talk to your former spouse, make sure to only talk about your child if you have nothing positive to say to the other person. When you are with your children, don't talk about the other parent unless you have something nice to say or are building that person up as an authority figure. You should also abstain from posting mean or incendiary comments about your spouse on social media if your child has access to your account.
Coparenting is one of the hardest things that you may be asked to do. You have to both raise a child and make manage a relationship with someone who you used to love. However, by focusing on your child and not on the previous relationship with that child's other parent, you can do your job as a mother or father without unnecessary emotional strain.