Most divorcing couples who have kids want a good co-parenting relationship because they understand that this is what’s best for their children. However, how they deal with each other during the divorce as they work out property division, support and child custody agreements often sets the tone for how they will deal with each other as they co-parent their kids. If a couple can remain amicable throughout their divorce, they’re taking an important first step toward a positive, effective co-parenting relationship.
Parents often don’t realize just how much their kids see, hear and understand about their divorce proceedings. They may think that they’re keeping all of their disputes in their attorneys’ offices or in the courtroom. However, animosity between parents is bound to spill over into their conversations with friends and family when they’re at home. Even if these conversations are kept out of kids’ earshot, they can sense when their parents are angry and upset.
If kids feel anxious about their parents’ contentious relationship or even responsible for it, it can be more difficult for them to adjust to life after their parents’ divorce. Moreover, the more parents fight with one another during the divorce, the more difficult it is to form a cordial, respectful co-parenting relationship that focuses on the kids’ best interests rather than residual animosity that you didn’t get what was rightfully “yours.”
It’s also important to remember that a contentious divorce is typically far more expensive than an amicable one. That doesn’t mean giving in to everything your spouse wants. However, it means not taking every matter on which you disagree before a judge to decide. The money the two of you save by working together, with the help of your attorneys, to resolve your issues can be used for your kids’ college educations or — in the nearer term – – to help them decorate their rooms in your new home.
You and your spouse may even be able to work together well enough to choose the option of mediation over a litigated divorce. Mediation is a required first step in divorce here in Texas. However, many couples are able to continue their divorce through mediation rather than handling it through the courts. This can save time, money and stress for everyone.