It is difficult to imagine a couple who just went through a high-conflict divorce peacefully co-parenting after the divorce is final. However, believe it or not, it is very possible.
What is co-parenting?
Co-parenting is when parents choose to continue sharing the duties of raising their children or parenting together after their divorce.
What is a high-conflict divorce?
When a couple’s divorce is high in conflict, it usually means that the parties do not get along well and may have problems communicating effectively and reaching agreements. While many people believe that co-parenting is ineffective in high-conflict divorces, that is untrue.
Is it possible for high-conflict couples to co-parent successfully?
High-conflict parents can co-parent successfully after divorce, and because co-parenting is recognized as one ideal way of raising children after a divorce, it is worth considering.
However, due to the high-conflict nature of the parents’ relationship, there are a few things to consider when evaluating whether this is the right choice for your family:
- Both parents must consciously decide that they are choosing to co-parent for the well-being of the children. It is even better if they understand the benefits of co-parenting and why it is significant and positive for the children.
- Both parents must be on board with making an effort to communicate openly and honestly. If they cannot always communicate well, they must have a plan (for example, a family counselor or mediator they can rely on for support) in case they have a disagreement they cannot resolve on their own.
- Both parents must consciously take care of themselves physically and emotionally and ensure that they practice self-care regularly so they can be prepared for the challenges that sometimes come with co-parenting.
- Both parents must establish firm boundaries so they can feel in control of their lives.
Co-parenting in a high-conflict environment may seem impossible, but it is not. Parents can continue raising their children together if they understand that they are divorcing each other, not the children.
Understanding this can help parents acknowledge the importance of continuing to participate in their children’s lives because they comprehend how important it is for the children.
While the family dynamics change after divorce, co-parenting can mitigate the damage that divorce can cause children. Despite having a high-conflict divorce, if parents are truly committed to doing what is best for their children, they can accomplish this task together.