Arthur W. Porter
A Successful Divorce! It is Possible.
Your divorce may have been a drawn-out, dramatic mess, but if you want your kids to come out unscathed, your co-parenting relationship with your ex needs to be anything but.
The key to a successful divorce (and, yes, there is such a thing) as it relates to your most important asset, your kids, is that, despite any other differences, the two parents must work together to bring their children through the storm and on to adulthood. After three decades of experience, I offer these 10 simple thoughts for your guidance.
1. “Co-parent. Learn to look at your ex as a business partner. And if you feel the need to vent about him or her, vent to your friends and not to your kids. The kids’ needs must always come first.”
2. “Keep the important rules consistent between the two households as much as possible. This way, the kids won’t be able to play both sides. Clear and consistent expectations are much easier on your kids.”
3. “Find a way to overcome the anger you feel towards your ex. Be thankful to him or her for having given you your greatest asset, your kids. Celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Really!”
4. “Remember: Your kids are not pawns and divorce is not a game to win.”
5. “The way you manage conflicts will determine how your children emerge from the divorce. You may no longer be married, but your roles as co-parents will last for the rest of your lives.”
6. “It’s so easy to get lost in your own wants and needs and go to battle with your ex, but taking the high road makes for a happier life for everyone involved.”
7. “Be cautious if you’re tempted to be judgmental; that magnifying glass works both ways. Unless your child is in danger, you have to give the benefit of the doubt that your child’s other parent is doing the best they can do, the same way you are. Let go of what happens in the other parent’s house, unless it’s truly egregious.”
8. “Quit the manipulation. Stop badmouthing the other parent to the kids. You divorced your spouse, not the kids, so don’t take your anger out on them.”
9. “Communication is the key. You have to keep the lines of communication open between you and your ex. Never let the resentment you feel toward him or her seep into your conversations – that’s so unproductive.”
10. “Kids need both parents and they need them to get along. Do you want your kids to be bitter, unforgiving people? Because that’s what you’re modeling for them if you can’t put your past hurts behind you. Instead, opt to co-parent in a civil way so you can teach the kids how to create healthy relationships in adversity. It’s one of the best lessons you can give them.”
– Courtesy of the Law Offices of Arthur W. Porter, P.C.
6225 West 48th Avenue, Suite 105
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
o 303. 592.7777
312 South Weber Street, Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80903