Spouses who are in the midst of divorce may sometimes disagree about the parenting of their children. These disagreements can quickly lead to difficult discussions and emotional reactions. The collaborative law process, with the help of experienced family law attorneys and other professionals, can help parents alleviate misunderstandings, resolve differences, and explore options for finding more satisfying solutions.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Think about what is best for the children
Washington family courts use a standard considering the child’s best interests when making decisions about what orders should be put in place regarding the children, and it is a good idea for parents to keep this in mind as well. Generally speaking, parents should seek to cooperate, to keep things stable for their children and to shield them from intense interpersonal conflicts whenever possible.
With their lawyers, and sometimes other professionals, parents can work together to create parenting plans and child support orders which will address the needs of the children. Even in situations where parents are not initially in agreement on parenting issues, there is often the ability to create lasting, cooperative parenting orders which will work best for all.
Commit to communicating productively
When emotions are high, it can sometimes be difficult for parents to communicate effectively and respectfully. With the help of experienced family law attorneys, and other collaborative professionals, parents can work together to learn better ways of communicating about the children and can decide what type of communication will work best for them as they navigate transitioning to a co-parenting model. For some parents, emails or text messaging may be best, while some parents use a parenting app or shared online calendar.
Keep the children out of the conflict
As a final note, one of the best things that parents can do when disagreeing with each other about custody matters is to keep the children insulated from the conflict. Parents can work together in collaborative law, with their experienced family law attorneys and other professionals, to keep the tension of the divorce from impacting the children.