Parenting Struggles After Divorce
In a family law case with children, you and your ex can file a case, fight hard for months or even years, beat each other up in court and on the witness stand, and eventually get a ruling from the judge. But, two weeks later, in most cases, you still have to talk to your ex about how your kid needs braces, or what sports to enroll them in, or how to handle daycare. You see, as parents, your case never really ends. You will, in most cases, have to deal with your ex for years to come, and even if there aren’t legal battles, you still have to see each other at school plays, or soccer games, or special events. Even after your child turns 18, there are still graduations, and weddings, and possibly grandkids. The short version is you and your ex are connected because of your kids. I know that can sound horrifying, but while you and your ex are no longer together and may never be friends, you will always be parents and your kids need you both in their lives.
Resolving Post-Decree Cases
Often in family law disputes arise after the court has entered it’s “permanent” orders. I put “permanent” in quotes because orders regarding children are often anything but permanent and courts can modify these permanent orders under most circumstances to meet the best interests of the child. We call these disputes “post-decree” cases because they happen after the court has already entered its initial decree of divorce or allocation of parental responsibilities. My family law practice focuses on post-decree matters, and a huge part of my job is to try and help my clients resolve these disputes before we have to get a judge involved. I firmly believe that the best way to do this is to set the solid groundwork for discussion between parents and to try and minimize and resolve conflict as quickly as possible. I do this by coaching my clients on how to interact with the opposing party without having to resort to filing motions every time there is a disagreement.
What is Co-Parenting?
This process of working together is called “co-parenting”. As the name implies, it is joint parenting, where both parties work together and support each other to raise their child. There are a lot of resources out there for co-parenting. You can check out this blog: Co-Parenting After Divorce for some good articles, and a simple google search will provide you with many more. As part of my practice, I see a lot of examples of both good and bad co-parenting strategies. Things that work and things that don’t, and I wanted to share with you my top 10 do’s. Next time I’ll discuss co-parenting don’t’s and what happens when co-parenting fails.