Reconciling Your Drastically Different Parenting Styles After Divorce
If you have minor children, a parenting plan will be part of your divorce settlement. This document outlines the time your children spend with each parent and each parent’s responsibilities to the children. Parenting plans are most effective when both parents are willing to cooperate with the court’s orders and with each other.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to follow a parenting plan, especially when it requires you or your partner to alter how you typically parent your children. A parenting plan can also make differences in your parenting styles more apparent and sometimes, force you to re-examine your approach to raising your children.
Communicate Regularly with your Former Spouse
Successful co-parenting, regardless of how different your parenting styles are from each other, requires you to communicate regularly with your former partner. Talk about your children’s academic progress, any illnesses or injuries they suffer, and your thoughts regarding their behavior and development. Both parents need to be completely aware of what is going on in their children’s lives in order to work together to raise them. Do not allow new partners to get in the way of your communication regarding your children.
Determine What is Best for your Children
When the court develops a parenting plan, it does so with the intention of serving the children’s best interest. You cannot disregard the court’s parenting plan, nor should you – doing so is an act of contempt of court.
Sometimes, determining the parenting style that serves your children best means you have to examine your parenting style and attitudes critically and alter them to suit your children better.
Always be Consistent with Rules and Expectations
Once you and your former spouse have determined appropriate boundaries and expectations for your children, stick to them. The plan you develop should be based on your children’s needs and what you are comfortable doing as parents – if you feel the rules are a bit more strict or more lax than those you would create on your own, but they are not harming your children, support your former spouse by enforcing them consistently.
This does not mean you have to parent in lock step with your former spouse; you are individuals and should feel free to parent your children in a way that you feel is healthy. You can do this without undermining your former spouse’s decisions or disregarding the rules he or she sets. If you feel your former spouse made an inappropriate choice on your child’s behalf, speak with him or her about it privately. You should expect to have your concerns taken seriously, and you should expect to have yours taken seriously.
Work with an Experienced Tampa Family Lawyer
Co-parenting after a divorce is not always easy. For guidance on how to make it a little bit easier for yourself, your former spouse, and your children, discuss your case with our team of experienced Tampa family lawyers at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. Contact our office today to set up your initial legal consultation with a member of our team.