Should You and Your Ex Try Co-Parenting Counseling?
Even though you and your ex might have a difficult time being in the same room with one another and even being cordial, you have to think about your number one priority—your kids. If you have children with your ex and you live in the same town and share parenting time, you have to coordinate with one another when it comes to your kids.
You have to think about all of the things that the kids need to do. This includes getting to and from school, going on trips, sports, visiting friends, etc. It also includes other factors, such as buying the school supplies and uniforms, where someone should go to school, whether tutoring is needed, etc.
Parents are generally very aware of all of the different things they have to think about with their particular children. This also means that you need to be in communication with your ex about your kids to ensure everything is handled. You don’t want to leave a kid sitting at the edge of the soccer field because you thought the other parent was going to pick them up.
Of course, communicating with the ex can be difficult, as mentioned. If you don’t trust one another and you have a poor relationship, it will make co-parenting difficult. It can lead to a host of miscommunications and problems, and they tend to keep getting worse and spiraling if you don’t do something about it.
Co-Parenting Counseling Is Beneficial
One of the tools that you and your ex will want to consider using to help reduce the types of problems you have regarding your children is co-parenting counseling. This is a form of counseling that is geared toward helping parents to build a better and more trusting relationship for the sake of their children.
Often, the counseling will start with some of the more common types of issues and problems that the parents are facing. The counselor will want to know more about the current issues that you have with one another and some of the ways that those problems have affected your ability to parent properly. What have the distrust and miscommunication done to the children? Did your ex leave your child sitting at the soccer field or the mall? Did you not remember that you had a meeting with a teacher or that your child had an appointment?
However, as anyone who has gone to a counselor knows, the issues that you are talking about are generally surface issues. What it really comes down to, regardless of the issues you are talking about, is the distrust and problems with the other party. There are often a lot of issues that are unresolved after going through a divorce. It’s those unresolved issues that are often making it difficult for parents to have conversations with one another.
Therefore, the counselor can play a role in helping the parents get to a place where they both feel as though they can give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Divorce counseling can help to build back some of the trust between the parents. They can help the parents to look for the good things from the past and the successes that they’ve had. By focusing on those successes, it can often help them to at least be more willing to work with the other parent.
One of the most important things that people need to learn when they have children is that no matter what happens, they will always be at least some part of one another’s lives going forward. It’s not a divorce without children where you can go your separate ways and never see one another again. You will need to see and communicate with one another regularly.
It just makes sense that you would want to find ways that you can get along better for your own sake and the sake of your children. You need to be able to get to a place of mutual respect and understanding to be good co-parents.
What Needs to Be Done?
If you are willing to work toward getting to that place of mutual respect, that’s wonderful. However, even if you are willing to do this, there is a chance that your ex might not be. They could be someone who thrives on the conflict, unfortunately. Even when you make them aware that it’s harmful to the children, they may not be willing to work toward building a stronger post-divorce relationship. There are some people out there who are like this. They may have a narcissistic personality. They might hold grudges. They might feel that going to counseling makes them weak.
Even though you might want to try co-parenting counseling, they may not want to, and this could be something that you have to accept. However, if you have an ex that is willing to try, it could mean that you are on the path to a better future. However, you also have to find a good counselor that can provide you with the services you need. You need to make sure that the counselor can help not only with co-parenting but also with the issues that occur between you and your ex that go deeper.
Going to counseling is a commitment on the part of you and your ex, but it often is in the best interest of your children. If you have the option and if your ex is willing, it could be the best move for you. It’s not about getting back together with your ex. It’s about getting your parenting relationship to the point that the kids are suffering because of it.
Divorce is hard, and it’s not something you want to do on your own. You want to be sure you have a quality divorce lawyer who can help you and answer any questions that you might have. A good attorney can help you with the legal and practical aspects of your case. A co-parenting counselor can help get your parenting relationship with your ex back on track.