Communication after a divorce, for the sake of the minor child(ren), is essential. Particularly, the way that communication is handled, creates the framework for co-parenting success or failure. The parental role, and how each party relates to one another, should focus not on the adults but the best interest of the child(ren). Each parent may have different views of parenting but respect becomes a paramount issue. All areas of concern relative to the child(ren) are crucial but a few come up more frequently than others:
- Medical issues: When medical issues relative to the minor child(ren) arise, both parties are entitled, as joint legal custodians, to equal participation in determining same. Consulting one another about appointments and the outcomes thereof are essential. Moreover, each party is fully entitled to attend appointments and to speak directly with treating physicians. Open communication is essential in this regard to obtain the best outcome for the child(ren).
- Discipline: Although the parties may not agree with the discipline style of the other, so long as the discipline is age appropriate, it is imperative that the parents do not criticize or undermine the other, especially in front of the child(ren) or to the child(ren). A united front on this issue can alleviate the child(ren) “playing” parents against the other. It further helps the child(ren) to recognize that the parents are capable and willing to work together for their best interest.
- Educational issues: Both parties are entitled to be involved with, and participate in, decisions relative to the education of the minor child(ren). If the child(ren) is having educational issues, it is important that both parties discuss the issues with the school and work together to resolve same. Merely becoming adversarial will not assist the child(ren) in any way. Deciding together if additional educational resources are necessary is always in the best interest of the child(ren).
- Extracurricular activities: These issues tend to be a hot button for many as they can impact parenting time. The parties are always encouraged to discuss enrollment of the child(ren) in any extracurricular activity to ensure both parties are prepared to ensure the child(ren)’s attendance. If one party does not agree, the likelihood that the child(ren) will succeed when he/she is only present half of the time is unlikely. Discussion of extracurricular activity involvement before enrollment is more likely to ensure the child(ren)’s participation and success.
Although this is not an exhaustive list of communication related issues, it does encompass several of the major ones.
For more information on family law related issues, please contact Shannon Simpson at Simpson Legal Group, LLC today at (712) 256-9899.