If you’re a parent who recently obtained or is planning to file for a divorce in Tennessee, one of your main priorities is likely helping your children cope with the situation. Divorce impacts children’s lives; there is no doubt. However, if you and your former spouse are willing to compromise and cooperate as needed, you can both help your children navigate the process in as healthy and least stressful manner as possible.
Many spouses nowadays are able to maintain amicable co-parenting situations. There are several practical tips that may help you do the same. That said, there is also no shame attached to any problem you may encounter, even if it’s a legal issue that necessitates court intervention. Life is sometimes challenging, and divorce can make it more so. The bottom line is that, if your kids know you love them and are there to support them, they will likely fare well following your divorce.
Hints to help you succeed at co-parenting
You’ve probably already dealt with the fluctuating emotions you’ve experienced as you prepare for divorce, or when you recently went through the process. Remembering that children also experience similar sorrow, confusion, worry or anger can remind you to have support resources available for them when times get tough. The following ideas may be useful to you and your former spouse as you take your first steps in a co-parenting journey from different households:
- Maintain central focus on your children: No matter how you are personally feeling regarding any number of issues that may arise concerning your family as you move forward in life after divorce, if you and your spouse exhaust every effort to keep your main focus on your children’s well-being as parents, then you may be able to avoid many of the stresses and problems others encounter when they focus on their own emotions and issues.
- Protect your children’s innocence: It’s crucial for your children to understand that your divorce was not their fault. It also helps if you do not involve them in adult matters, keeping any divorce or child-related discussions out of their earshot.
- Good manners matter: There may be times when you and your former spouse disagree about a custody, visitation, support or other important issue. Some parents fall into a bad habit of bad mouthing their ex-spouses in front of their kids, which can cause them much stress and confuse them regarding where their loyalties should lie.
When children have ample opportunities to maintain active, healthy relationships with both parents following divorce, they tend to adapt to new lifestyles quite well. Your co-parenting situation needn’t be a disruptive, contentious, stressful arrangement if you and your former spouse are both willing to work hard at keeping things peaceful.
That’s not always possible, however, especially if the other party involved refuses to adhere to an existing court order or is trying to turn your kids against you for some reason. In such situations, you can reach out for support to seek the court’s intervention to resolve the issue at hand.