4 Hard Truths That Make Co-Parenting Easier to Take
Divorce is like an abysmally bad day that goes on for months and months. It will eventually be in the past, but right now, every moment is more stressful and more demoralizing than the last. The acute pain of divorce goes away more quickly if you and your ex-spouse do not have minor children than it does if you have to continue co-parenting your kids even after your divorce becomes final. You and your ex-spouse are not truly independent of each other until your youngest child reaches adulthood. It is easy to build up a cycle of resentment and negativity so that, by the time your youngest child grows up, your children will never want to talk to you again, and they may or may not want to talk to your ex. A Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you look at the big picture about co-parenting after divorce.
Co-Parenting Is Hard for Everyone
Being a parent means accepting that the world does not revolve around you. It is important to empathize with your co-parent, just as it is important to empathize with your children during the terrible twos or the terrible teens. Your ex also has to build her schedule around the parenting plan and move on with only part of the wealth that the two of you amassed during your marriage. You are in the same boat as millions of other people, and the chances are infinitesimal that your ex-spouse and former in-laws are objectively worse than everyone else’s.
Paying Child Support Is the Law
It is easy to be angry with your ex every time you send a child support check, especially if you are on a tight budget. You might imagine that your ex is living large while you struggle financially, but your ex is probably also angry that she cannot make ends meet, even with your child support. The fact that your marriage fell apart might be your ex’s fault, but the fact that you must pay child support is not, and neither is the amount that you must pay. Florida law determines the formula for calculating child support, even though families set their time sharing schedules on an individual basis.
Keeping Kayfabe in Front of Your Children Is the Law
When your children act as though the divorce is your fault, it is tempting to tell them your side of the story. Saying negative things about your spouse in the presence of your minor children will only make things worse for you, though. At worst, your ex can use it against you in court, and the court can reduce your parenting time as a punishment. For the time being, you must keep a stiff upper lip. When your children are grown, there will be time to talk to them about painful times in your past, including your divorce.
You Can’t Force Your Children to Love Their Stepparent
Finding a new partner makes many divorced parents feel that they have found peace again after a divorce. You cannot expect your children to see it that way, though. Many children and teens find adjusting to life with a stepparent and stepsiblings much more stressful than the divorce itself. Make it clear that your partner and stepchildren are part of the family, but let your children warm up to them over time on their own terms. Don’t take it personally if they don’t immediately appreciate your new partner’s good qualities as much as you do.
Contact Schwartz | White About Life as a Divorced Parent
A South Florida family law attorney can help you accept the hard truths of co-parenting so you can focus on ways to make the situation as easy as possible on you and your children. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.