You may have never pictured getting divorced or trying to jointly parent with your partner. But learning to coparent with a former spouse is a common experience for many people.
In 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 782,038 divorces and annulments in the U.S. occurred. As you get used to coparenting with your former spouse, there are several strategies that can enhance this new arrangement.
1. Communicate regularly
Commit to communicating on a regular basis with your coparent. Set a time either daily, weekly or monthly where and your spouse talk about your children face to face, over email or on a phone call.
2. Maintain a consistent routine
Your children will likely feel more secure after your divorce if rules and routines are the same at both households. Talk to your spouse about forming a familiar routine for your children and setting standards for discipline that both you and your coparent follow.
3. Make important decisions together
You may have to make many small decisions about your children and their wellbeing every day. But refrain from making major choices about your children without consulting with your former spouse first. For example, if you want to change your children’s school, enroll your children in a new activity or try a new type of medical care, consult your coparent first.
It can be difficult to parent jointly with your former spouse at first, especially if you went through a contentious divorce. Remember that coparenting well takes time and that with practice, both you, your former spouse and your children will get used to this new arrangement.