If you are recently separated from your spouse or partner — and you share minor children — the transition can be rough on all the parties. But typically, it is the children who suffer the most when their parents split.
One of the harder things for them to cope with is when the rules are wildly inconsistent at each parent’s home. Sometimes, it forces one parent (usually the one with physical custody) to become the hardline disciplinarian while the other parent gets to be the “fun” mom or dad who takes the kids to Kings Island and allows them to eat leftover dessert for breakfast.
Pick your battles
Co-parents don’t have to be in lockstep with one another to make it work. If the kids get to stay up until 10 p.m. at Dad’s but Mom holds firm on an 8 o’clock lights-out, it’s not the end of the world. Ask yourselves if these differences will matter over the course of the children’s lives. If the answer is “no,” it’s best to let it go.
But some issues do matter. For instance, if you believe that your child will get a better education enrolled in an excellent parochial school than the overcrowded public school in your district, that’s a point worth fighting for in your custody negotiations.
Work together for the kids’ sake
As parents, you want the best for your children. That’s why mediating your issues in a collaborative divorce is a better solution than leaving it up to the Ohio courts to determine the fate of your family.