Suggestions for Successful Parenting After Divorce

  1. Communicate with each other in a courteous, businesslike manner.
  2. Be on time and have the children ready at exchange time.
  3. Avoid communications that may lead to conflict at exchange time.
  4. Encourage the children to carry important items such as clothing, toys and security blankets with them between the parents’ homes.
  5. Provide a consistent routine for homework, meals, and bedtime.
  6. Communicate with each other about rules and discipline in order to handle them in similar ways.
  7. Support contact with grandparents and other extended family so that the children do not experience a sense of loss.
  8. Be flexible in developing parenting plans to accommodate your child’s extracurricular activities and special family celebrations.
  9. Schedule time to be alone with your children when you have a new partner.
  10. Make certain that sexual conduct with your new partner occurs outside of the presence of your child.
  11. Respect the other parent’s scheduled times with the children and do not schedule events that will conflict with this time.
  12. Discuss any proposed schedule changes directly with the other parent.
  13. Support the child’s relationship with the other parent.
  14. Attend to your own mental and physical health needs so that you will be in a position to adequately address the needs of your children.
  15. Assist your children with their homework and encourage them to become involved in school and community activities.
  16. Participate in your child’s school and extracurricular activities.
  17. Remain in contact with your children’s friends, teachers, and medical care providers.
  18. Keep the other parent informed of issues and activities in the children’s lives, and make a good faith effort to adopt a unified front on major issues involving the children.
  19. Remember that domestic violence toward your former spouse can result in the reconfiguration of your time-sharing arrangement with your children.
  20. Continue to assume parental responsibilities.
  21. Speak with your children about drug and alcohol abuse and maintain an environment for the children which is free from substance abuse.
  22. Assure the children that they did not cause the divorce and that they do not have the power to reverse the process.
  23. Do not make promises to the children that you do not keep.
  24. Honor the time-sharing schedule and be reasonable when changes are required.
  25. Minimize the extent to which parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties.
  26. Make every effort to place the needs of the child before your own needs or desires.
  27. Do not criticize the other parent to the child or in the child’s range of hearing.
  28. Do not use the child as a messenger, negotiator, or to seek information about the other parent.
  29. Do not withhold access to the child for any reason, unless there are safety concerns.
  30. Protect your children from the ongoing litigation. Do not discuss the litigation with your children.
  31. Give your children permission to love both parents.
  32. Assure your children that both parents love them.
  33. Remember that you are both parents and always will be. As such, your role is to provide your children with unfailing support, love and reassurance throughout the divorce process and beyond.
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