According to recent estimates, between 42 to 46 percent of marriages end in divorce. That leaves many parents left to navigate the confusing and often tense journey of co-parenting. With couples like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin consciously uncoupling and incorporating each other’s new partners into the family, other couples may wonder if such peaceful coexistence is possible after divorce.
Couples often try to maintain the status quo even after they divided the household. They may continue to spend dinners, holidays, and vacations together. While their intentions are good, keeping things the same can stunt the healing process and confuse the children. Harmony and happiness are possible, but the key to achieving both lies in managing your expectations and setting healthy boundaries when the marriage ends.
Acknowledge the Hurt
Couples who pick up right where they left off after divorce miss an important part of the transition process and prevent the children from experiencing it as well. When divorced parents continue to spend time together in the family home or elsewhere, children find comfort in the familiar and avoid seeing the new reality objectively.
Sitting in the feelings of anger, sadness, and loss after divorce is a healthy part of the healing process. As painful as it may be, children need to know and accept their new family structure to move on and embrace the next chapter of life. When couples deny or avoid their incompatibility, the inevitable is prolonged and becomes more difficult with time.
Watch for Familiar Patterns
When parents continue to maintain familiar patterns, the marital issues that eventually led to the divorce inevitably continue. Allowing more separation between ex-spouses after divorce gives each parent a fresh perspective and an opportunity to adopt new responsibilities within the family. The father may have done all the cooking during the marriage. Now that the mother has the children every other weekend, she may brush up on her skills in the kitchen. Children engage with each parent in exciting new ways, while dysfunctional habits and patterns can be shed.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Divorce is tough on every member of the family. Parents often take their time physically separating from their ex-spouse because they believe it is best for the children if the parents still act as a unit. Yet, without clear and effective boundaries, everyone’s roles are confused. Ex-spouses should step back and respect each other’s time and space, while accepting they may have to forego certain meals, events, and trips. Boundaries are crucial to help children adjust to post-divorce life and protect them from false hope or delusions that the family will remain the same after divorce.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Clients Resolve Complex Divorce Matters
Mediation can be a great tool for resolving tough divorce matters quickly and peacefully for everyone involved. By establishing the ground rules up front, ex-spouses leave little room for conflicts that can cause everyone undue stress and anxiety. Towson divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC have extensive experience with divorce mediation. To schedule your free initial consultation, call 443-589-0150 or contact us online. With locations in Towson and Hunt Valley, Maryland, the firm works with clients throughout the state, including the areas of Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Columbia, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks, Parkton, Pikesville, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.