Getting a divorce in Ohio doesn’t always mean an end to certain joint responsibilities, especially if children are involved. Unless there are issues with domestic violence or substance abuse, the inclination of the courts is to keep both parents involved in a child’s life. For this reason, the most common piece of advice given to ex-spouses is to keep the focus on the best interests of the child. This typically means urging parents not to badmouth or belittle their ex or make children feel as if they have to take sides.
If minor issues with custody arise or general disagreements occur, it can be helpful for a parent to walk away before responding to remove some of the emotion from the moment and avoid saying things that may make the situation worse. With family chores in each household, leveraging the strengths of each child and being consistent with responsibilities may minimize conflicts and create a sense of structure. Divorced parents are also encouraged to establish boundaries and say “no” when appropriate to avoid over-indulging a child out a sense of guilt.
Another major component of co-parenting is communication. It’s not necessary for former spouses to have forced conversations. However, scheduling family meetings and exchanging important information via email, phone calls or text can minimize scheduling conflicts or misunderstandings over arrangements with visitations or pick-up and drop-off times. Establishing a protocol with communication can also make it easier to ensure both parents attend important events in their child’s life or solicit a helping hand from the other parent when necessary, even when it’s not their responsibility to do so.
If conflicts with parenting time can’t be worked out between parents, a family law attorney may make an attempt to reach a reasonable resolution without getting the court involved. A lawyer may also take appropriate actions if one parent isn’t adhering to the stipulations of a child custody order or if there are pressing matters involving support payments and established visitation schedules. In some situations, an attorney might recommend adjustments to custody arrangements.