Coparenting children with an ex-partner or ex-spouse poses many challenges. When high conflict exists between parents, cooperative co-parenting may not be possible. If you find yourself frequently experiencing conflict with your coparent, there are things you can do to help improve the relationship.
“Reciprocity” or the act of taking and giving mutually, and in-kind, has been found to greatly influence coparenting relationships. In other words, the degree to which two parents are able to reciprocate acts or gestures with one another, increases their success as co-parents.
One way you can demonstrate reciprocity to the other parent is by helping to establish a consistent and regular telephone contact routine. By setting a time frame and encouraging children to talk to the other parent, you are communicating your willingness to act in support of the other’s parent-child relationship. If your coparent is able to return the favor, in-kind, greater trust and cooperation may soon follow. Reciprocity is a trust-building act, when done correctly. Of course, having a successful cooperative co-parenting relationship is ultimately in the best interests of your children as it will aid in their development into adults.
Following are ten guidelines you can use to help establish a telephone contact routine with your coparent.
1. Telephone contact should be short (about 5 to 7 minutes) and limited to one call per day. The parent without the children should initiate the call.
2. If the child misses the call, the child can return the call, if possible. The parent should not continue to call if the child misses the first call.
3. Have a consistent and regular routine, but be flexible and choose appropriate times. For some families such a time is after dinner but before bed time.
4. Once you agree on a time, be sure to call regularly and consistently at that agreed upon time.
5. If you know you will be a few minutes late, notify your co-parent to make sure the later time will work for everyone.
6. Parents should facilitate telephone/FaceTime and help younger children with equipment.
7. However, parents should not monitor or intercept phone calls.
8. Parents should allow children reasonable privacy when speaking to the other parent.
9. Remember the goal is always to do what is in the best interest of your children. This means you probably should encourage your children to talk to the other parent.
10. A simple encouragement is all that is necessary. Something like, "Brush your teeth, get in your jammies, and be ready for your dad when he calls."
Feel free to think of additional ways you can demonstrate reciprocity to your coparent. Your child’s future mental health and well-being will benefit from these efforts.
How much does a divorce cost in Utah? That is one of the most common questions we get. Unless you succeed at obtaining an order waiving court costs, everyone who files a divorce in Utah pays a filing fee of $325 plus a “vital statistics” fee of $8, for a grand total of $333 or $398 for divorcing parties with minor children when counting the $65 fee for the state-mandated Divorce Education and Divorce Orientation courses. That’s it! Those are your court costs for filing a divorce. End of story, right?
The decision to get a divorce may be among the most difficult decisions you ever make, yet it is only the beginning of an often difficult and expensive process. In order to get divorced there are a multitude of legal and practical events that need to take place. Where will you live? Will you sell the house? Where will the children primarily live and go to school? Most people will suffer a financial setback post-separation since there will be two households with financial needs, instead of just one. Therefore, it is important to have a good understanding of your goals, your financial condition/needs, and what the next steps in the process are in order to develop an effective exit strategy. Following is a list of common issues and considerations to help you succeed toward this endeavor.
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