Divorce is undoubtedly one of the biggest life stressors. The breakup of the marriage and the breakup of the family, however, always breaks with the children. Whose child is he, who loves him more, who will be his guardian?
Rarely are they so reasonable and wise that they manage to protect children, but also themselves – from suffering and stress.
So, how hard is co-parenting for newly divorced parents, and is it possible to handle this situation better? We hope you’ll find some of the answers in this text.
Children Mustn’t Be Used As Hostages In A Bad Marriage
The divorce takes a high second place on the scale of stressful events. There is almost no painless divorce. The situation is even more complicated if the children are involved. When there is even the slightest sound basis for a partnership to be restored – everything should be done to make it happen.
Children should live and grow up in a healthy and functional family, with both parents. However, there are situations when the relations between the partners are disturbed to such an extent – that preserving the marriage, at any cost, is not the best solution. Then, even children cannot be a healthy link to preserve broken partner relations. Namely, such relationships greatly affect the children – but also the spouses. Therefore, if you can’t do anything to preserve the functional marriage – it is better to decide on a divorce.
Parental Roles After Divorce
When unsatisfactory marriage precedes divorce – often, former partners continue to communicate poorly during or after the divorce. It often happens that ex-spouses find it difficult to separate the partner from the parental role.
Therefore it happens they are perceiving the ex-partner as a bad partner – but also as a bad parent. Maybe by their criteria, that parent really isn’t a good enough parent. However, if they had the same criteria and agreed on important things in life – they probably wouldn’t even be in the process of divorce. From our perspective, a former partner may not be a good parent – but it is not up to us to judge, or to deny the child its right to be with that parent.
What Does Parental Custody Mean, And What Is Joint Custody?
Independent parental rights mean that the child will be entrusted to just one parent. It means that the alimony and the manner of maintaining the child’s personal relationship with the other parent will be determined. Joint parental rights or co-parenting means that parents will perform parental rights and duties together.
They are supposed to do it by mutual agreement – which must be in the best interest of the child. It is a concept that implies mutual understanding and agreement between parents on all issues related to children. They practically share daily obligations and activities around children – such as taking them to school, to birthday parties, sports, or shopping. Mom and Dad just don’t live together anymore, in the same house – but they share all the responsibilities around the children.
This concept implies that parents have a good relationship – that they agree, and respect each other. If you want to find out how to accomplish such a relationship with your former partner, check this. It can be quite demanding for parents – but children have a less traumatic feeling of losing one parent.
Is Co-Parenting Tricky?
Regardless of the circumstances, divorce always affects children in some way. Some will notice emotional difficulties as a result of the new situation, some will not. It also largely depends on how well the parents are coping with the situation. Family structure is essential – and divorce requires the establishment of a new structure and way of functioning. It is important that both parents, regardless of the new situation – continue to be parents to their children. It may be a good idea for parents to develop a detailed plan for joint child care to maintain some predictability in the family structure – as divorce does not necessarily mean family breakdown.
Negative Emotions Between Ex-Spouses Can Be Transmitted To Children
What often happens is that due to difficult or no agreements about co-parenting – ex-partners pass on their negative emotions to the children. That way, they sometimes unknowingly obstruct the child’s relationship with the other parent. All that can confuse children and ultimately negatively affects their relationship with both parents. A child always loves both parents and wants a relationship with them. But if we even unconsciously send messages that we are not happy when a child goes to the other parent – the child is aware of that. The child usually wants to please both parents, and make them happy – so this is the part when things can get pretty complicated. Therefore, both parents, no matter how difficult it may be – must cooperate at that level.
The Most Common Causes Of Conflict
Birthdays, holidays, and school holidays are a common source of parental conflict after divorce. A first birthday, first Christmas, or any first holiday without an ex-partner – will surely be a source of stress for both parent and child. As time goes on, the whole family will get used to, and eventually, adapt to the new situation. They will find new ways to celebrate – in a similar, or different way from those that existed when the parents were married. Of course, parents should make sure that the child maintains close relationships with other members of the extended family – like grandparents, cousins, etc. Even if one of the parents doesn’t like them – it should be borne in mind that the children need them. Each of them has a role to play in a child’s life – and if a child loves them and enjoys their company, parents must not deny it.
Is Professional Help Recommended?
The help of experts can be very useful. Marriage and family therapists can teach partners to talk constructively. They cannot and will not want to decide instead of you – but they can help you to end the marriage in a quality, humane, and dignified way. The role of professionals is to help spouses gain more real and objective insight into the reality of their relationship – so that the decision is as mature as possible, with fewer consequences for ex-partners and their children.
Remember: You have lost a partner but not your parental responsibility. It is important to keep in mind at all times that divorce has lost a former love partner, but parental responsibility has never been lost. Whether divorced or not – you are always parents to your children. It is wrong and bad for a child if one parent forbids, restricts, or prevents the child’s meetings with the other parent – and this includes birthday or holiday celebrations, holidays, skiing, and all other socializing.