Breakups and divorces are hard enough on the couples involved. It’s even harder when you share a child with your now ex-partner. It’s natural that you will both want to be present in your child’s life and it’s possible you may even fight over who gets custody of your child. Your new relationship with each other will be as co-parents and there is a right and wrong way to do it.
Learning to co-parent after a separation is important to your own well being and mental health as well as the development of your child and their feelings towards you as their parent.
There are some serious missteps that can make your child’s life miserable and harm their development and view of what makes a happy home. It’s also far from impossible to learn how to co-parent with an ex in a way that is constructive to maintaining this necessary relationship and providing a good home life for your child. Part of this is going to depend on how you work together and some of it will depend solely on the growth you do as a person.
This won’t be easy, but it is necessary and for the sake of your child and mental well being it’s something you have to learn to do.
Healing Takes Time
The first step that’s going to help your entire family is understanding that healing takes time. Any breakup, no matter how bad, is going to leave you wishing that things had worked out or nostalgic for what you had. Healing is messy, it won’t be easy, but you have to come to terms with that and not drag your child into those inner workings. Also know that space is a big part of this and navigating that with a child will be tough.
Some topics are no longer going to be your business. Some information and points of discussion will become off limits. You can’t use your child to try and gather information about your ex-partner. Part of moving on is unlearning your habits with this person and the closeness you used to share. But you cannot put your child in the middle of that or try to get information out of them. Respect boundaries and respect your child.
Pay Attention to Your Child
It’s a tendency after a breakup for a child to get spoiled. And that’s okay. While you don’t want to create a situation where they’re getting everything they ask for and teaching them some bad habits and expectations later in life, you do want to pay more attention to them, offer them more, be sure to put their needs and emotional support first.
Are There Apps That Can Help?
Yes. Not only do organizational and calendar apps, such as Google Calendar, help, but there are apps specifically for helping ex-partner co-parents manage their lives. 2houses and Alimentor specifically help in finances in a split household. It’s also a good idea to set up an email chain specifically for keeping the other parents informed about your child, as well as using shared documents to take note of important medical, school, or social happenings.
What if the Separation Was Messy?
Not everyone has the benefit of an amicable divorce or breakup. And sometimes being around your former partner is a torturous experience. But, if you have a child, that must be your first priority. You must parent child-first and create the most constructive atmosphere for your child.
Divorce and breakups hurt, they can become unimaginably complicated when a child is involved. Don’t make the mistake of not putting your child first when it comes to navigating this landscape.
In Michigan, it is in the child’s best interests to spend as much time as possible with both parents. If you are thinking of divorce and there are children involved, The Law Offices of Rappleye & Rappleye can help. We have been representing clients in family law and divorce cases throughout Jackson Michigan and surrounding communities for over 60 years. We handle a wide variety of cases including child custody, child support, father’s rights, alimony, property division, modification of court orders, separation agreements, and marital agreements. Call our Family Law and Divorce Firm today for a consultation!