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Ways to lay a co-parenting foundation following divorce

Just when you think you conquered the most difficult part of this transition - finalizing your divorce - you realize that you must now re-learn how to parent your children with your ex-spouse. For many people, this is an overwhelming challenge.

At Ellis Law Firm, we work with families every day who have found tricks and methods to make it work and to be strong parents - together - for their children. Here are a few tips for you as you lay the groundwork for post-divorce coparenting.

Communicate - Even if you would rather never speak to your spouse again, it is important that you re-learn how to communicate with him or her moving forward to best serve your children. Speak frequently and keep the conversation focused ONLY on the children and parenting issues.

Treat each other with respect and always remain positive about the other parent in front of your children - It is critical that you protect your child's relationship with his or her parent by always speaking respectfully and positively about the other parent in front of your kids. Studies continually point to the fact that this makes a huge difference in the quality of that parent-child relationship, which is always in the best interests of your child.

Decide on rules, procedures and structure, and remain consistent - When you parented together, the kids knew the rules. Now, as their family structure changes, they need the continued structure of consistent rules between the two parents. Create these rules together and commit to backing each other up, in an effort to build a new structure and a new normal for your kids.

Release control of your spouse - Even though you must work together as a team to raise the children, you are no longer married and no longer have a say in your spouse's life decisions (unless they directly and negatively affect your child). Allow yourself to release control over your spouse's life moving forward. You may find it very liberating, and it will help to maintain peace as you work together.

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