It’s not uncommon to feel uneasy in a co-parenting situation. This is especially true if the arrangement is a new one. Here are a few tips to how to get comfortable with your new way of life.
Dealing with Co-parenting
Co-parenting often means a radical change to the way you used to schedule your life and your kids’ lives.
You might feel nervous being apart from your children, and knowing that you won’t be able to see them for a while (while they are spending time with the other parent). The best way to deal with this is to call it out for yourself and name it. This can be as simple as saying, “I am feel separation anxiety being away from my child.” Then identify what’s causing you to feel this way. Is it because it’s a new situation? Is it because you don’t trust the other parent? Or are you just not used to having a free night? Working with a therapist can help you work through these feelings if you’re not able to address them on your own. And if you’re nervous because you fear for your child’s safety, you might want to consult a lawyer.
Work out a plan for regular communication when your children are away. While it shouldn’t feel like you’re trying to dominate the other parent’s time, it’s completely fair to have a check in via phone or email. You should also have a plan for communicating with the other parent. Maintaining open and good lines of communication is key to addressing your anxiety. If you two are not able to be civil during in person or on phone conversations, take it to email, where you can state the facts of what needs to be addressed without getting emotional.
If at any time you feel there has been a violation of the custody agreement, take a step back and evaluate how big the violation is. If it’s an incident where the other parent is 15 minutes late to dropping of your child, maybe let it go. If this becomes a habit you might want to address it through altering your schedule or coming up with a new plan. If the parent refuses to drop off your child, that’s the time to seek a lawyer.
Source: AboutParenting.com, What if My Ex Refuses to Return My Kids? 2015
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