Even the happiest marriages have their ups and downs. So it shouldn’t be a surprise when big or small disagreements arise between you and your ex. But the one thing you should remain unified about is your children’s future.
Most divorced parents put their differences aside when it comes to the well-being of their children. It’s essential that despite any hard feelings you may have for each other, you both live up to the promises made under the custody agreement.
One family under two roofs
If you are a divorced parent, you will likely have some contact with your ex for the rest of your life. Kids can thrive when co-parents get along, especially at significant events, such as graduations, weddings and the births of grandkids.
Psychologists say parental conflict is the biggest variable for how quickly children adjust to their new world order. When co-parents continually bicker in front of their kids, the damage can be long-term. One way to avoid this is to honor the custody agreement.
What if one of us slips?
The first step is not to make promises you can’t or won’t keep. The second is living up to your word. But we’re all human, and sometimes we make mistakes, whether or not they’re intentional. Letting anger get the best of you doesn’t have to lead to extreme repercussions if you take the following actions:
- Own up to the mistake and tell your ex as soon as possible.
- Apologize and talk about ways to keep it from happening again.
- Look for deeper answers as to why you broke the pact.
On the other hand, if your ex is the one who breaks the custody agreement, don’t overreact out of anger. It might be best to use email to ask for an explanation instead of a face-to-face or phone confrontation. Focus on the facts and not the emotion. If your ex is unreasonable or keeps breaking the agreement, document their lapses and talk to your attorney. In some cases, modifying your custody agreement may be in the best interests of everyone, especially your children.