CO-PARENTING AFTER DIVORCE
WHAT IS IT?
HOW CAN COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE HELP?
parents are separating and / or divorcing, their relationship does
not end—it just changes. They are no longer lovers, but partners in
the raising of their children—a term we call co-parents. It is not
a legal term, but a state of behaving for the sake of the children.
successfully accomplish this, parents must grow, change, and mature
for the sake of the children. The parents need to learn how to
develop a new relationship, that of co-parents and business
partners. This process can take a while and while psychotherapy can
be very helpful in allowing it to happen, so can the Collaborative
Collaborative Law, including the use of a mental health coach, the
parties can keep the lines of communication open and have several
professionals working together as a team to assist them through this
life changing experience of divorce. A goal of Collaborative
Divorce is to assist clients in looking at how their current
behaviors may or may not be helping them to have a healthy divorce
and providing clients with information that will promote a healthier
‘co-parenting relationship’ post divorce. It’s a forward thinking
process, proven to be effective for MANY divorcing parties.
discussions that the co-parents will need to address, and which
collaborative divorce will help with, include but are not limited to
discussions on short term issues of: homework, health, friends,
sleeping, eating, driving, owning a car, discipline, minor changes
to the parenting plan, unscheduled events, upcoming school or extra
curricular activities, emergencies, transportation, etc.
partners will need to determine how, when and where they will
communicate. How often? This can all be determined through the
collaborative process. The Collaborative Coach can be especially
helpful with this.
also need to talk about the long term issues of what school a child
should attend; making a major change in the parenting time plan,
school holidays, summer vacations and birthdays. Once again a plan
will be needed for how often, when and where the co-parents will
A factor that
influences the success of parents’ ability to co-parent
cooperatively is where the parents are in the grief process. If
someone is stuck in denial, anger or blaming, it will be more
difficult to co-parent than if they are further along in dealing
with the divorce. If the other parent is not able to work
cooperatively with you, your task is to put on your ‘adult’ hat and
respond in a proactive, mature way, not in a reactive, immature,
hostile way. Professionals including collaborative lawyers.
coaches, and mediators, preferably trained in mental health can ably
assist parents in this effort. If parents are doing things better
and ‘healthier’, then children are the direct beneficiaries.