When you mediated your divorce, you may have been a bit anxious or worried about your children’s ability to cope with the significant changes the situation would be prompting in their lives. You love your kids more than anything in the world, and you only want what is best for them. Most mediators agree that children fare best if they continue to spend ample time with both parents after divorce.
As a parent, you may encounter several challenges as you and your kids adapt to a new lifestyle and search for your new “normal” together. It’s understandable that you might feel sad or frustrated, for instance, coming home from work and not having the kids there to spend the evening together. With a positive attitude and a strong support network, you can be proactive to maintain a close bond with your children.
Practical tips for non-custodial parents
The following list includes ideas you might want to implement as you do your best to stay closely connected to your children after divorce:
- If possible, try to live and work near their primary residence. It’s difficult to maintain a close bond if you’re on the other side of the country.
- When you have custody, set aside time for close interaction. Maybe put the cell phones away and go for a walk, or grab a pizza and brainstorm future vacation ideas.
- When you don’t have custody, stay connected through emails, phone calls or an app that enables you to have a video chat. Make sure your kids have access to you at all times.
- The more amicable a co-parenting relationship you have with your ex, the better it is for your children. If you pay child support, try your best to stay on top of payments, and if a problem arises, don’t hesitate to reach out for additional support.
Children have a way of internalizing their parents’ problems, so it’s always a good idea to remind your kids that the divorce was not their fault, and that you are always there to listen and to support them. Verbally reminding your children often that you love them is a big help as well.
If further negotiation is necessary
Texas co-parents who are willing to compromise and cooperate to mediate a divorce, or to devise a fair and agreeable co-parenting plan, are to be applauded for keeping their children’s best interests in mind. In fact, when your kids see you working together as a team and reaching out for additional support when you need it, they may be more likely to ask for help when they need it, too.