Even after divorce, Arizona parents of minor children generally must maintain a co-parenting relationship. This can be challenging, but it is important to the well-being of their children that they try to avoid conflict. Some parents may struggle to communicate after a divorce, so they might settle on a method that does not require them to talk to each other, such as email or text. There are also online tools that parents can use for scheduling and other custody and visitation-related communication. Children should never be used to carry messages back and forth.
Both parents should try to maintain some consistency for their children. They are unlikely to agree on every aspect of parenting, but general expectations in both households should be similar. It can help if the child has the same bedtime and the same rules around homework. While it can be difficult, parents should avoid making negative remarks about one another in front of the children. Parents should also try to be flexible and keep one another updated about any changes in the home or schedule.
If possible, parents should try to present a unified front. Children may try to use a parent’s guilt over the divorce to be manipulative, and it is important to set boundaries. Parents should maintain discipline and avoid excessive gift-giving or other efforts to outdo one another.
Issues around child custody and visitation can be the most difficult part of the divorce to navigate. Parents may want to use the same standard a court would, putting the best interests of the child above all other considerations. It can be difficult for a parent to adjust to living with the child only part time, but family law courts usually take the position that the child benefits from spending time with both parents after a divorce.