Co-Parenting in the Wake of Divorce

sailingCouples are always eager to be “done” with their divorce. Getting the court documents signed and the divorce finalized is the end goal, and clients often think it will be smooth sailing for them after that. However, when the divorce is final, there is something called the new normal that clients have to navigate, especially when it comes to their parenting. Co-parenting is more complicated when parents are no longer cohabiting, and this is a big adjustment for everyone following a divorce. Co-parents may no longer be living together or joined in matrimony, but they are in the same boat as far as raising their kids. Because of this, communicating and cooperating are very important. Instead of treating their co-parent like they would like them to abandon ship or walk the plank post-divorce, the attitude needs to be “all hands on deck” between co-parents. Diligently communicating and cooperating will give co-parents much more control over the course their children’s lives will take. Even in the best of circumstances, of course, children can try to get what they want by playing their parents against each other. Little mutineers usually sound something like this: “Dad/Mom says I can…”, and if no fact checking is done on behalf of the co-parent that isn’t around to confirm what she or he did indeed say, the child gets what he or she wants. Critical information can go missing or be seriously altered if children are used as a courier in adult conversations. Avoiding this situation is possible, but requires that co-parents actively cooperate and communicate. Co-parents that work together this way post-divorce can divide and conquer when it comes to life’s challenges, and keep their family buoyant in any stormy waters that come in life.

– Audra A. Holbeck

Who Will Be My Valentine?

Couples, particularly those in a newer relationship, often feel pressured with romantic expectations for Valentine’s Day.  For those contemplating or in the middle of a divorce, Valentine’s Day can be particularly stressful because expressing romantic love to a sweetheart simply can’t be fulfilled.  And unfortunately, we are bombarded with all that is Valentine’s Day when out and about because in the greeting card aisle of every store, you will find mass-produced cards full of sugary sentiments.  The hearts!  And glitter!  As with so many holidays, commercialism has found its way into expressing love through cards.

While there is nothing wrong with buying/receiving a store-bought card (or any other classic Valentine’s Day gift, like roses or chocolates), I personally think it is more meaningful to spontaneously express your feelings in your own words and gestures throughout the year, not only to your sweetheart, but to all the special people in your life.  If you are going through a divorce and not at all in a Valentine’s Day mood, what would it cost to focus on making your precious kiddos your Valentines?  Honestly, kids take Valentine’s Day to a whole new level, and it’s so fun!  Instead of feeling pressure to be in a romantic relationship and consume everything that is red and sparkly on February 14th, perhaps Valentine’s Day can serve as a reminder that every day is an opportunity for us to tell all the people we care about – not just a sweetheart – how much they mean to us.

-Audra Holbeck

At Holbeck Law we are here for you. Let's connect to move forward.