You can expect that as a non-custodial parent, your relationship with your child or children is going to go through transition after your divorce. While these new circumstances can be unsettling, especially for your kids, there are things you can do to help everyone navigate through the change.
How to Navigate Life With Your Kids as a Non-Custodial Parent
Let’s discuss some tools you can use while learning how to navigate relationships as a new non-custodial parent.
It is critical that you and your ex-partner successfully work together in the best interest of your children. That begins by keeping the lines of communication open between the two of you.
If face-to-face discussions are too emotional or upsetting, try using other means of communicating, such as telephoning, emailing, or texting. Avoid communicating through your kids, as it puts them in a position of feeling as if they must choose sides.
Your kids look forward to the time they get to spend with you during your scheduled visitation. If you are late or constantly canceling visitation, this will leave them feeling insecure. It’s important to prioritize the time you’ve committed to spending with your kids.
It is impossible to avoid all conflicts. When they arise, work with your ex-partner to reschedule your visitation.
Focus on Routine
When your time with your children is short, you may feel pressure to make the time you do have with your kids extra special. Remember, kids thrive on a parent’s attention—they don’t need constant external entertainment.
Instead, focus on ordinary routines that you would have if you were still living together. Time spent with schoolwork, after-school activities, or chores around the house gives a child a sense of normalcy and security.
Keep Disagreements Between Adults
Even couples that stay together don’t always agree on their partner’s parenting styles. If your ex-partner makes a decision that you don’t agree with, keep the conflict between the two of you. Private discussion is best. Most importantly, always avoid name calling or denigrating your ex-partner to your kids.
Keep Child Support and Visitation Separate
Child support is intended to help raise your children in a safe, healthy environment while covering a share of their expenses, such as food, clothing, and shelter. If as the non-custodial parent, you have fallen behind on child support payments, you are still entitled to your visitation rights.
If the custodial parent denies you visitation because of back support owed, you may need to return to court to enforce your visitation agreement.
What Does Texas Law Say About Divorcing Spouses?
Sometimes, a healthy, on-going relationship with your children can be thwarted by anger, resentment, and jealousy. Top priority should be placed on the children’s wellbeing.
Texas law requires that divorcing spouses with minor children create a parenting plan that outlines important issues such as child support, visitation, rules and schedules, care provisions, and more.
It May Be Time to Seek Legal Help
If your ex-spouse is not abiding by the agreement and it’s affecting your relationship with your children, you may wish to consult with an attorney practicing family law. The attorney may recommend mediation to resolve issues or even a return to court. The Law Office of V. Wayne Ward wants to help you navigate your new life. Give us a call for a consultation today at 817-789-4436.