If you’re one of many Michigan parents who have recently navigated divorce proceedings or will soon be filing a petition, you probably have a lot on your mind right now. Especially if you’re a parent, a wide range of emotions can hit you all at once when you’ve made a decision to move on in life without your spouse. If you experience co-parent stress, it’s even more challenging.
It wouldn’t be uncommon at all if you and your ex were to disagree on certain issues pertaining to child custody, co-parenting or other divorce-related topics. Your opinions don’t have to perfectly align all the time. What’s most important is how you deal with disagreements. Co-parenting can be stressful, which is why you’ll want to keep five tips in mind as you adapt to a new lifestyle after divorce.
Co-parenting in divorce can affect you in many ways
Even with the best intentions, you might encounter challenges or experience high levels of stress as you learn to work with your ex to raise your children as a co-parenting team post-divorce. The following list includes five tips to help you keep stress to a minimum:
- Take care of your physical health.
- Give yourself permission to process emotions.
- Find ways to have fun and enjoy life.
- Make informed decisions.
- Reach out for additional support, as needed.
These five tips may help you cope with a divorce, especially if you’ve encountered problems in your co-parenting relationship.
Get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy diet
When you’re worried about your children or issues such as child support or property division, you might have trouble sleeping. Perhaps you’ve been binging on unhealthy sweets or don’t feel like eating at all. Each of these issues may have a negative impact on your overall physical health. It’s a good idea to try to get some exercise each day, even if it’s simply taking a brisk walk. If you’re well-rested and are eating a healthy diet, you’re likely to feel better-equipped to handle co-parenting stress.
Some days may be better than others
When you are adapting to a new lifestyle after divorce, your emotions might be all over the place for a while. Some days, you might feel calm, confident and happy. At other times, you might experience frustration, anger or even sorrow. The key to keeping stress to a minimum is to allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling, so that you can process your emotions in a healthy manner.
It’s okay to still have fun after divorce
While you might not feel up to jumping right back into the social scene after your divorce, there’s nothing wrong with going out with friends, taking up a new hobby and nurturing yourself. Sharing activities with your kids can also help you all have fun together and make new memories as a family.
Know your rights and make sure you understand Michigan laws
Especially if you and your ex hit a roadblock where you disagree on a specific child custody issue, it’s critical that you understand state laws and what your rights are as a parent. Being able to make informed decisions helps avoid high levels of co-parenting stress.
Build a strong support network from the start
No one expects you to be superhuman and able to resolve every issue that arises during or after your divorce regarding co-parenting. It can be a lot less stressful if you reach out for additional support when a problem arises that you don’t feel able to handle on your own. At such times, a trusted friend or family member, a licensed counselor, or a legal advocate can be a great asset.
It’s also good if your children see that you’re not afraid to ask for help when you need it. In fact, it lets them know that they can do the same.