Everyday life is a challenge when parents are together to take care of their children under one roof, and this can get even more complicated when they have to live apart.
There are various concerns that have to be addressed to ensure that the children’s needs are attended to while parents are also enabled to work on their other obligations. Decisions have to be made on a regular basis, weekly or daily if needed, and this requires constant and open communication between parents. Some pertinent issues can include what kind of friendships and activities the children can get involved in; accepting child care; school and after-school schedules; consistent discipline; and the like.
Mediation and Boundaries
While you are trying to move forward from a relationship that has just ended, you are also expected to know how to co-parent even when it is something you have not anticipated to learn. This is where establishing healthy boundaries can come to the rescue. With so much that needs your attention and having to work it all out with your ex, it would be good to start with a detailed list of what you can and cannot do so you can be guided accordingly in your co-parenting journey.
This endeavor can be made easier with the help of mediation as it provides you with a structure that will support your communication exchange and assist you in setting up important boundaries for the whole family – including ones that you may or may not have considered. Setting healthy boundaries can help you identify ground rules that adhere to the new family situation in terms of finances, privacy about personal issues, which information to share with the child, and others.
Mediation is substantially valuable in this sense as an option to help couples ease the way for separation or divorce.
There are various helpful boundaries that you can set via a mediation process and here are some of them:
1. Privacy Limits
It is understood that you will be living separate lives with your former spouse and upholding each other’s privacy is of utmost importance. However, this can be a bit tricky and confusing to start when you have been so used to being together and sharing any information you have about each other freely. It is important to be able to clearly spell out what can remain as public information and what has to be kept private this time to avoid future problems.
Mediation is a good venue to clarify which personal issues you both prefer to be kept private from others especially those who used to be part of your life together. While it is perfectly fine to ask how the child is when he or she is with the other parent, it is definitely uncalled for to ask about an ex’s private life when the child is not with that parent at that particular time.
When you are able to show respect for each other’s privacy, you also begin to build that trust again that might have been lost on the verge of the separation. If you want to have a successful co-parenting relationship, this trust is invaluable. Let the mediation process help you lay down this crucial boundary for your new family set up.
2. Ground Rules
Another crucial boundary that can be set through mediation are the pertinent ground rules that concerns money, imposing discipline, children’s social media consumption, and the like.
If these can be made consistent in both households where children will stay, this will be for the better as it will foster a sense of security in them and coherence in your co-parenting methods. Setting ground rules for children’s use of the computer, doing homework, extracurricular activities, and bed-times in accordance with their age will help create much needed consistency in their lives and make the co-parenting lifestyle more seamless for them.
Should there be any problem with following through on these rules, then they have to be discussed during mediation because as parents, you know your children best and the rules are meant to help them grow into the responsible adults that you want them to be.
3. Information Exchange
It is logical that you should know everything when it comes to your children and this goes both ways with your ex-spouse. As parents, you both have the right to information about your children’s whereabouts, health, current state of mind, safety, friends, school activities and many more. Through mediation, you will be able discuss these concerns openly with your co-parent as you will be enabled to actively participate in the discussion without any form of restriction that is typically found in conventional court proceedings.
Make it clear that you would prefer to be informed as soon as possible when it comes to concerns about your children. Aside from these, you can also request that you be updated on any relevant conversation that a child may have with the other parent so you can extend help when needed. In mediation, you can discuss these directly with your former spouse and reach an agreement or resolve a dispute creatively together.
4. Communication with Children
Mediation can also help you set and decide on the kind of information that you share with your children. Given today’s technological advancements especially with social media, children tend to get fed with information that even parents don’t know about. As such, it is important for parents to confer about what information they can share and even agree about the terms or words they can use in front of the children.
Personal information such as having a new partner or a new baby has to be handled well and parents have to agree beforehand as to the right time and place for revealing such big news to prepare the child emotionally.
Co-parenting is a reality for many parents, and coming to certain understandings through mediation can help ensure that communication is open, and that the decisions made are a healthy solution for everyone involved.
Creating successful co-prarenting plans through mediation is an important option in the divorce or child custody process that Seff & Capizzi Law Group takes seriously. At Seff & Capizzi Law Group, we regularly assist clients and provide valuable information for those that need assistance in understanding how to approach this particular situation in their own lives.
If you think that mediation is an option you would like to pursue, please call us at (954) 920-9220. We have over 40 years of experience and offer a free consultation. Click here for more information about our family law practice and how Seff & Capizzi can help.