Divorce between men and women who are parents comes with its own set of challenges.
In a childless marriage (and divorce) there is no need for either party to stay in contact with each other; however, this is not so when there are children involved. Your status changes from married spouses to co-parents and that can be tough if there is still baggage between the two of you.
For both your sakes and the sake of the children) it’s important to maintain a degree of civility between you and your ex spouse. You will come into contact periodically when the child is collected and dropped off and should you both need to attend a PTA meeting. You do not want to hang your dirty laundry in front of the child or teachers and other family members.
If you divorce was amicable, it is still advisable to work through the courts with regards to your children. Situations and emotions change and you never know how you will be feeling towards your spouse 6 months or a year down the line. While verbal agreements are meant to be binding, you can set yourself up for lots of anguish if you want to rely solely on a verbal agreement over a cup of coffee.
Prepare your case before you get to court. If you have an amicable relationship you can document these issues together or you can sit with a friend or family member to discuss all the issues surrounding your child and how you both co-parent him or her. Here are some of the more important issues that you need to bring before the judge so that your co-parenting experience can be as civil as possible:
- How much money each of you needs to contribute towards the child. Remember nothing has changed since the divorce from a financial perspective. He or she will still need to be educated, fed, clothed, kept healthy, entertained and all the other financial issues that come with raising a child.
- Who your child will live with permanently and how much time the other parent gets.
- How much time the child spends with both sets of grandparents.
As your child gets older, his needs can change and this could mean amending the agreement. This can be done in the courts too. Opt to work through the courts as it keeps everything neat and tidy and prevents any confusion. Remember your child is the most important aspect of this new relationship and you need to conduct yourself accordingly so that he grows up to be a well adjusted and functioning human being.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.