Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

Co-parenting counseling could help you and your ex work together

Divorce is a messy process that brings up a lot of emotions. No matter how hard you try to shield your children from your struggles during a divorce, they are liable to, at least, be aware of your emotional state, particularly if you and your ex continue to fight.

An acrimonious relationship with your ex may be normal after a divorce, but that doesn't mean it's a good thing for your children. However, rebuilding a relationship after you have taken steps to dissolve it isn't exactly easy. You may not have a healthy way to express your feelings toward your ex. That can leave you feeling frightened of how the divorce will impact your children.

Healthy co-parenting often takes work and investment. Even if couples therapy couldn't save your marriage, co-parenting therapy or counseling could help you both adjust to your new reality.

Counseling can help you rebuild a healthy relationship

No matter how bad things got between you and your ex, you will still need to see each other several times a week for as long as your children are minors. Even after your children are grown, you are very likely to see each other at major events like weddings and graduations, as well as birthdays and holidays.

While you may just want to move on with your life, you are going to have a relationship with your ex whether you want to or not. It makes sense, then, that you should take steps to make it a healthy and functional relationship. A co-parenting counselor isn't necessarily going to address the issues between you and your ex.

You don't have to rehash the things that happened in your marriage unless absolutely necessary. Instead, the focus should be on finding common ground and working together in the best interests of your children. A therapist or counselor can help you find respect for one another and learn important skills for your future relationship.

A counselor can help you learn healthy communication

Adjusting how you relate to your ex after a divorce isn't easy. Routinely seeing a co-parenting counselor can help build a framework for a healthier future. A counselor can assist you in finding effective ways to communicate.

They can also help you establish expectations for your parenting, such as the rules and curfews you set, which should be consistent in both houses. In the event that there is conflict, your co-parenting counselor can also facilitate a safe space for you to talk about the issue and find a resolution.

Co-parenting isn't easy, but getting professional help can make it easier to keep the focus on your kids. Working through your issues with your ex will make everything easier for your whole family and will set a great example for your children about conflict resolution.

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Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

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