As a parent, adjusting to a custody and visitation schedule and maintaining regular contact with your former spouse are likely to be among the most-difficult aspects of life early after your divorce. While certain challenges are going to be inevitable, there are steps you can take during and after your divorce to make this transition as comfortable for you and your children as possible.

10 Ways to Smooth the Transition and Avoid Hostility After Your Divorce

The Co-Parenting Guide from the Office of the Attorney General of Texas is a useful resource for divorcing and divorced parents, and many of its tips and suggestions are relevant whether you are considering co-parenting or a more-traditional custody arrangement. Here are five tips that, in our experience, are particularly useful for newly-divorced parents:

  • “Think of parenting as a job (maybe even one with a co-worker you don’t like).” While parenting is inherently emotional, if you can focus on the task at hand when dealing with your former spouse, you can prevent emotional arguments from leading to hostility.


  • “Set up a regular time to talk with the other parent about your kids.” If you and your former spouse do not have a set communication schedule, your communications regarding your children are likely to be minimal, and important issues may never get discussed.


  • “Don’t say bad things about the other parent to your kids.” Divorced parents should never badmouth one another to their children directly or engage in hostile communications with their children present.


  • “Don’t tell your children that you are not receiving child support.” Any legal issues between you and your former spouse are best kept between the two of you. If you are not receiving child support, there are legal remedies available.


  • “Set up ‘kid rules’ and ‘parent rules’ to be followed at both houses.” Consistency is important, and children who have different freedoms and restrictions at their mom’s and dad’s homes are more likely to have a difficult time adjusting.

Legal Steps to Help with Post-Divorce Parenting

1. Develop a Comprehensive Parenting Plan

The best way to avoid unnecessary disagreements and help your children adjust is to put together a comprehensive parenting plan during your divorce. Parenting plans can cover everything from custody and visitation schedules to curfews and cell phone rules, and most divorcing parents are able to work together (with the help of their respective attorneys) to develop parenting plans that reflect their children’s best interests.

2. Seek Custody and Child Support Modifications When Necessary

If you are unable to adhere to your parenting plan or child support order due to changed circumstances, it is important that you seek a legal modification in court. Violating a custody or child support order can have serious consequences.

3. Act Promptly When Your Former Spouse Violates Your Custody or Child Support Order

If your former spouse his not meeting his or her obligations, or if he or she is inappropriately interfering with your relationship with your children, it is important that you take legal action promptly. These types of situations tend to get worse before they get better, and you are entitled to enforce your custody, visitation or child support rights in court.

Contact the McKinney Family Lawyers at Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC

For more information about parenting plans or the legal options that are available for modifying or enforcing your parental rights, please contact us to arrange a free initial consultation. To speak with one of our experienced McKinney family lawyers in confidence, please call (214) 726-1450 or get in touch online today.