The “what not to do” lists for divorce and anything related to family law can get quite extensive, possibly even never-ending. There are no exact rules to follow and no way to do anything specifically correct or perfect, as every situation is different. However, there are some mistakes that all parents should avoid after getting a divorce if they want to always ensure that the best interests of a child are met after their parents’ divorce. Here are some common blunders that parents make when it comes to co-parenting, that you should try your best to avoid.
Asking Your Kids About Their Time Away
Obviously as a concerned parent that cares about your child you want to know what they are up to when they are not with you, especially when they are at the other parent’s house. But you should not be grilling your kids for information on their time with the other parent. Doing so could make them feel as if they are betraying their other parent or worry that they will give you information that could potentially lead to an argument. Keep your questions simple and generic, such as “how was your weekend?” Let it be up to your child if they want to tell you any details about what they do when they are away.
Dragging Children Into Your Problems
Easier said than done, but you should always put priority on making sure that your child is not dragged into any drama related to the divorce or any following situations as you try and co-parent successfully. Your emotions may sometime get the best of you, but your child should not suffer from this. You are the adult, and they are the child. They did not cause this situation and they did not ask for it, and it’s likely that they are having quit a difficult time with the big changes happening. As a result, children of divorce will need a solid support system where security is promised.
Letting Your Kids Manipulate The Situation
It’s common that your kids may play you and your ex off each other to get something they want. They can get away with this often if you and your ex are not in consistent communication. Having two homes may sometimes mean that a child gets twice the stuff, such as allowance money or other goodies. They may also try and say that one parent said something they want to do is okay so that the other parent will also approve, but this may not always be the case. You should always confirm with the other parent before letting your child do something. You may not be surprised to find out the child was telling a little fib to get their way.
Showing Up Late, Often Changing Schedule
When you are a co-parent, you have the luxury of a flexible schedule. This is especially nice when you have a cooperative co-parent that works with you if work demands or social events call for minor changes in the schedule. Don’t take for granted when your ex is willing to rearrange your visitation agreement for your sake, and if they need the same, comply with them. A common mistake parents will do, however, is take advantage of this flexibility. If you are going to be late, always call ahead. Never assume that you can just switch days of seeing your child at the drop of a hat because “something came up.” The more you do this, the more unreliable of a parent you look.
Child custody and family law can be tricky, especially without legal guidance. Contact a family law attorney at The Sampair Group for assistance.