Divorce might be an entirely new experience for you as an ex-spouse and parent. Conversely, you might have been down the dissolution road more than once before.
In either event, a divorcing party in a marital split involving children has important things to attend to concerning family matters after the ink on a divorce decree dries. The contours and particulars surrounding “family” may have changed, but parental duties continue.
Which centrally means this: You and your former partner can’t just part ways and cease communicating regarding the kids. In fact, children often need the close, nurturing and informed presence of both their parents more than ever in the wake of a divorce.
In duly noting that, a divorced parent needs to keep an eye on a few important points to ensure that children — the most precious cargo in marriages that both endure and fail – are protected and that their best interests are fully promoted.
The publication The Good Men Project spotlights that need in a recent in-depth article that might be suitably subtitled “Keeping things together for the sake of the kids.” Its presentation is couched primarily in negative terms, that is, in a “don’t do this” manner.
Its lead-off admonition is this: Don’t be a child yourself. You are an adult, so suck it up. Have a plan defined by a best-faith vow to check rancor at the door and make a sincere effort to communicate with the ex regarding the kids’ schooling, vacations, extracurriculars and so forth. Be committed to acting jointly and in sync with an agreed-to parenting plan (not doing so is an ideal recipe for finding yourself before an irate judge).
The aforementioned article provides a lengthy list of post-divorce parenting taboos, which can be gleaned through the above-cited link. Readers content with a quick summation regarding the bottom line might be satisfied with this summary observation.
To wit: Don’t act in a selfish and unilateral way concerning your parenting rights and duties following divorce. Doing so undermines the very essence of what loving and responsible parenting is all about. Although you and your ex are no longer a couple, you continue to have shared responsibilities concerning the children. Focusing on them as a committed team will optimally benefit the kids.
And it will benefit you as well, because you know you are acting as a good parent.