After divorce, almost every parent approaches co-parenting with the best of intentions. But it is uncharted territory for most newly divorced people. It is easy to make mistakes that further strain your relationship with your ex. Even more importantly, errors you make can possibly affect your children’s well-being.
Here are four common mistakes Kentucky parents make after divorce.
- Crossing boundaries. Co-parents who share parenting time will continue to be in each other’s lives for years to come. But that does not entitle your ex to spend more time at your home than necessary or ask you about your personal life.
- Entangling money and custody. Child support and child custody are two separate legal matters. If one parent has been ordered to pay support but has fallen behind, the other parent does not have the right to withhold the first parent’s custody or visitation time as “revenge.” These tactics ultimately put the kids in the middle of the conflict. Instead, they should contact their divorce attorney about enforcing the support order.
- Inflexibility. The terms of the custody order matter, but sometimes life gets in the way. Maybe your ex is stuck in another state on business and cannot take the kids this weekend. Or they want to keep them an extra couple of days to bring them on a trip to visit the grandparents. Flexibility on your end should cause your ex to be flexible when it’s your turn to ask a favor that deviates from the custody plan.
- Impolite language. Texts and emails are convenient ways for co-parents to communicate. But if you are not careful, what you type can come off to your ex as more aggressive or rude than you intended. For example, a text message responding to a request that simply reads, “No,” can sound like you did not even consider their position. Instead, writing, “Sorry, but I can’t help,” is much less likely to start a conflict.
Everybody makes mistakes, especially when they are starting a new chapter in their lives. But a little tact and consideration can make the job of co-parenting with your former spouse a lot easier.