Co-parenting, sometimes referred to as joint or shared parenting, is the experience of raising your child as a single parent after a divorce or separation.

While raising kids across two homes can be a difficult process, co-parenting can be made significantly easier by the reciprocal interactions between ex-spouses.

Services such as marriage counselling or couples therapy can help co-parents find a way to communicate and cooperate better so you will be better equipped to guide your children through this tough time and set a good example on how to resolve conflict and treat others.


The Do’s & Dont’s of Co-Parenting

When couples who have children separate, co-parenting can become a challenge, especially if the divorce was acrimonious.

Seeking services such as couples counselling can help you prevent any hurt feelings from getting in the way of the best interests of your child.

In order to successfully navigate the complex process of co-parenting, here are some tips you should consider:


Maintain effective communication.  Either through couples therapy or alone, commit with your ex-spouse to meeting consistently and talking about the needs of your child(ren).

Marriage counselling can help you develop a good communication pattern with your ex when co-parenting and keep your conversations focused on what is best for your child instead of on the past.


Argue in the presence of your children. Having heated arguments while your child is around can have a significant negative impact on their emotional & mental well-being.

If you and your ex-spouse are in disagreement, respectfully call them aside and resolve your differences in a quiet and controlled manner.

Separate feelings from behavior. If you and your ex-spouse are in disagreement, respectfully call them aside and resolve your differences in a quiet and controlled manner. Being respectful to your ex, no matter your differences, can go a long way when it comes to what’s best for your child.

Couples counselling can help you separate your feelings from your behavior in the presence of your children, eliminating any negative impact constant emotional arguments can have on their wellbeing.

Discuss negative traits about your ex with your children. Talking negatively about your ex-spouse has lasting effects on your child(ren).

Ways to avoid this include:

  • Simply avoid talking about your ex-spouse in front of your child
  • Validate their feelings and be positive about the time they spend with your ex.
  • Find an outlet. This could be other family members, friends or seeking couples therapy to talk about your feelings in a safe and appropriate place.

Try to improve the coparenting relationship. For better or for worse, through the creation of children, you and your ex are inextricably connected for years to come.


No matter the reasons behind your divorce, it is essential to develop a mutually respectful co-parenting relationship.


Couples therapy can help you learn how to:

  • Compromise with your ex

  • Have worthwhile discussions about the needs of your children

  • Find the empathy and patience required for successful co-parenting

  • Develop successful parenting strategies which are beneficial to all parties involved.
Go against your word. Open and honest communication is key to successful co-parenting so it’s important to stick to any agreements made between you and your ex.

Additionally, don’t overspend or overshadow the spending power of your ex regarding what he/she buys for your children.


Benefits of Couples Counselling During Divorce

Divorce is an intensely stressful process for both adults and children and it can be extremely helpful and soothing to have the support of an experienced counsellor during the separation.

Here are some ways that marriage counselling can benefit individuals, couples and families during a divorce:

  1. Couples counselling can help you deal with any anger, hurt and sadness, paving the way for a brighter and stronger future.
  2. When you are clear about how you feel and what is best for you, you will likely make better judgments and decisions about your children and financial settlements.
  3. Marriage counselling can help you and your spouse be sure about the divorce or even give you the opportunity to explore the possibility of saving the marriage.
  4. Couples therapy or family-therapy can help all parties involved in the divorce deal with the inevitable change in family dynamic and learn new strategies to communicate and coexist peacefully.

Call Today

At Separation Superheros, we put you in touch with the most qualified local professionals, including Red Deer marriage counselors and divorce lawyers, who can help with the emotional, legal and financial aspects of divorce.

To find out more, contact our team today at 1-800-381-1303 or fill in our online contact form.

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