If you’ve recently gone through the process of filing a divorce with family lawyers or military divorce attorneys. the prospect of sharing custody with your ex is likely a daunting one. Millions of people face a similar reality. Today, the average marriage lasts approximately eight years before ending in divorce. For those in the navy and other branches of the military, divorce rates typically hover around 12.5%.
So what can you do? When as many as 50% of American children are affected by divorce, divorced parents feel a great deal of pressure to make sure they raise their children in a healthy, loving household. Here are some do’s and don’ts of post-divorce parenting that every newly divorced parent should read:
Do: Take the high road
Many recently divorced adults find it tempting to turn to pettiness when it comes to dealing with their former spouse. Doing so will probably feel good in the moment — but it will only set you up for more headaches and strained relations down the line. Remember that the only person you can control is you, and dealing with your ex in a mature way can only benefit you and your child.
Don’t: Disparage your ex in front of your child
Another common mistake many recently divorced parents make? Disparaging and criticizing the other parent in front of their child. Doing so will turn your relationship with your ex into a constant competition, and will put your child in the unwanted position of having to choose between her parents.
Do: Communicate with your ex regularly
So while it may be painful, it’s essential for you and your former spouse to regularly communicate about what’s going on in both your and your child’s lives. Always keep your former spouse updated on changes in your life circumstances — such information should be coming from you, and not your child.
Don’t: Use your child to get back at your ex
Another major thing you should never do? Use your child as a leveraging tool to get back at your ex. Trying to sabotage her relationship with your ex or use her as a bargaining tool will only make her more distraught about the divorce.
Navigating the ins and outs of shared parenting with your ex is a challenge for everyone who goes through a divorce with family or military divorce attorneys — but with the right amount of communication and respect, it’s possible to make your post-divorce parenting less painful for everyone.