Too often, divorce is the foundation for a wall that divides a child's parents. Though the marriage is over and the love may be gone, a child remains. That child needs to be cared for, regardless of the feelings that former spouses might harbor for one another. This means a co-parenting plan must be created for the best interests of the child.
When a divorce occurs in Ohio, child custody is determined. Many believe that joint custody is the healthiest option for the long-term development of a child. If joint custody is feasible, then a co-parenting plan should be the next step. While there are many benefits to co-parenting, be sure to watch for signs of destructive behavior in the ex-spouse.
This competition, which may push each parent to be better than the other, is often unhealthy for the child. Usually, it results in former spouses badmouthing each other to the child and this only causes damage to the images of both parents in the child's mind. Children often believe that their parents are inherently good, but if one spouse brings up the mistakes of another from the past, it can seriously alter a child's perception.
Experts suggest that parents reexamine the lens with which they are looking at their exes. Instead of referring to a former partner as an ex-husband or ex-wife, think of them as your child's father or mother. A simple change such as this may shift some thought processes away from competing with someone that may have hurt you and towards the benefit of what matters most now: your shared child.
In order to maintain an amicable position with an ex, be sure to remember what is most important. If you forget that this relationship is about the child, take a step back and consider the situation. Ask yourself, "Is this what is best for our child?" and approach your ex to ensure that he or she is thinking this way, as well.
Source: Huffington Post, "Moving Forward After Divorce and What Not to Do When Co-Parenting," Sheree Fletcher, July 20, 2012