You and your spouse have decided to separate and set the date for the move. Now what? You’ve seen couples start this process with the best of intentions, only to find themselves derailed and fighting even more fiercely than before the separation. You both resolve not to do that to your kids, but how? 

Separation Changes Your CoParenting Relationship 

CoParenting simply means adults who share the parenting responsibilities in raising a child. Parents find working as a team while married difficult. Checking in with each other, knowing each other’s schedules and sharing responsibilities – developing these skills takes time and effort. However those who parent across 2 homes, particularly throughout a difficult process like divorce, find CoParenting changes a lot.

The Good 

Freedom! The first change you may notice in CoParenting separately will be that you don’t have to check in with the other parent about dessert, bedtime, screen time, etc. You get to make the decisions! This may mean you try new ways to parent that you always thought would be good or it may mean that you simply feel more focused, more you.

Time! Kids and parents tell me that their quality time increases with both parents. Cooperative chores become a must and parents may have more time to focus on the kids. 

The Bad 

Freedom. Parents newly separated find out that freedom can be challenging because they are the only decision maker. Research shows we only have so many decisions to make in a day and parenting, particularly in times of stress and change, involves a lot of decisions. Not only that, but the other parent has just as much freedom. 

Time. CoParenting usually means, at least in the beginning, that you become a single parent, with all the challenges. Add to that legal appointments, financial concerns and your ability to take some downtime disappears. 

The Ugly

Looking at the bad, you might ask what could be worse? What if all your spare time was spent finding out bad things about your CoParent? Focusing on their negative behavior and reporting to an authority who underscores their negatives? What if your CoParent did the same thing to you? In the process of a litigated divorce, CoParents spend months chronicling and proving the negative qualities of their CoParent and their own good qualities. It becomes a competition and spills over onto all aspects of the relationship, sometimes permanently damaging the Coparenting relationship. 

Minimize Damage To Your CoParenting Relationship

Litigating your divorce is only one option. Collaborative Divorce offers a process which protects the rights and privacy of the family while protecting the CoParenting relationship. With a mix of professionals, CoParents focus on their interests while the lawyers watch out for rights and legal issues, mental health professionals help manage communication and emotions, and the financial professionals help plan for financial stability for the whole family. In this process, no one competes with anyone else and the CoParenting relationship is supported by highly trained, compassionate professionals. 

Now What?

Find a trained, dedicated Collaborative lawyer and begin to protect and support your CoParenting relationship. Collaborative Divorce Texas and local practice groups have lists of professionals in your county who can provide this unique service for your family. Begin this new phase of your CoParenting relationship with highly professional support. 

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