How to co-parent successfully after a Pennsylvania divorce

Taking steps to ensure the focus remains on their children may help Pennsylvania parents to successfully co-parent after a divorce.

Following divorces, separations and for other reasons, Pennsylvania parents frequently enter into shared custody arrangements. As such, their children will split their time between their two households, often equally or close to equally. Allowing them to maintain relationships with both of their parents, shared parenting agreements are often seen as being in the children's best interests. However, it can be difficult to make them work. By taking certain steps to ensure their focus stays on their kids, people may make co-parenting a positive and successful experience for their families.

Stay positive

After splitting up, it is common for people to have feelings of hurt or anger toward their exes. For parents, however, it is important that they do not transfer these feelings onto or express them in front of their children. Further, they should discourage their kids from speaking negatively about their other parents. Staying neutral and remaining positive may help avoid causing children to feel as though they have to pick a side.

Be consistent

In an effort to help ease the transition or to gain their favor, parents may want to relax the rules following a divorce. While they may fight it, kids need structure; which is why it is advisable for parents to continue parenting as they always have. People may benefit from including issues such as bedtime, chores, and schoolwork and projects in their co-parenting agreements, and enforcing them at both households. Maintaining their routing may establish a sense of predictability and security, helping children to adjust to this type of major life change.

Keep the communication lines open

For shared parenting arrangements to work, parents must communicate with each other. Sharing schedules, medical information and other details may help them stay in touch with that is going on in their children's lives, allowing them to parent better, as well as avoid some disputes. Additionally, people should keep each other up-to-date in important things going on in their personal lives, particularly if the children may be affected. If they cannot talk face-to-face or over the phone without conflict, parents may stay in contact using emails, text messages, voicemails or various websites.

While it may seem easiest, people should refrain from using their kids as messengers or go-betweens. This may unnecessarily burden them or make them feel as though they have to choose one parent over the other.

Expect challenges

Even if both parents are dedicated to making their co-parenting agreement work, people will likely face challenges at one time or another. When issues arise, parents should stay focused on their children. Further, they should keep in mind that making accommodations and concessions is doing what is best for their kids, not letting their exes win.

Seeking legal assistance

The more contentious Pennsylvania divorces and custody issues become, the more challenging it may be for all who are involved to move past them. Thus, parents who are thinking of getting divorced may find it helpful to work with an attorney. A lawyer may guide them through the process, helping them effectively and efficiently resolve their legal issues, so they are able to begin the process of moving forward.