Dear Divorcée, – Co-Parenting Tips

Dear Divorcée,
If you have children, co-parenting is a huge part of the divorce “package”. I must say, that even under ideal situations, co-parenting can be quite challenging.
Oftentimes, there is an apprehension about co-parenting for most parents who are going through a divorce or separation where children are involved. As you face this transition be sure to be fair and remember how important co-parenting is for the children. Their best interest must come first. Don’t allow your negative feelings and emotions that you have for the other parent, to interfere with a healthy co-parenting relationship.
Here are several tips that were helpful for me as I began my co-parenting journey and that I think has served everyone involved well.
1. We, the parents primarily communicate via text message regarding the children. Early on along the co parenting journey, actual conversations seemed to end up in anger or blame that had nothing to do with the children. Texting kept information on topic and to the point. Over time our general communication got better, but texting is still the primary method of communication utilized.
2. Don’t try to control everything that goes on with the non custodial parent unless there is a true danger involved. The children love both of their parents. Just allow the parental relationship to grow and do not sweat the small stuff. If they eat popcorn and lay around all day with the other parent, it’s okay. I promise.
3. Be flexible and work together if there are legitimate changes in the visitation schedule. If the other parent has to work or go out of town on their weekend and vice versa, and you may have to alter weekends, work it out together. Life happens, be flexible because the children are watching.
4. Only speak positively about the other parent around the children. If you can’t say anything good, then don’t say anything at all. The children love both parents, flaws and all. Remember, the relationship between the parents, is not the same relationship between the parent and child.
5. When we meet for weekend visitation drop off, we meet at a general location that is a half way point between both homes. It’s a 10 mile drive each. Again, this neutral location has kept all personal drama out of the picture. Especially early on in the divorce, it’s kept things fair, and neutral. If there is a need to meet or pick up from each other’s homes or elsewhere, we do that. 
Again, these tips worked well for our situation, and we have been doing it for many years, and my daughters have done well. (One is an adult now) Everyone’s situation is different, but perhaps you can utilize something mentioned.
Co-parenting is very challenging at first, but it will get better over time.
– Andrea M. Stuckey

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Dear Divorcée- There are things you must do.

Dear Divorcée,

Going through a separation or divorce can be emotionally taxing. Your emotions feel up one minute and down the next. Even though you are going through the ups and downs emotionally, there still are things that you must physically do.

Separation and divorce requires certain transitions that are inevitable. Two incomes may become one. One income may now be none. Someone has to move out. If there are children involved, there may need to be co-parenting arrangements set and court dates and attorneys may need to be contacted.

Even though the emotions are overtaking you, you still have to take care of the business pieces of divorce. It may be tough but very necessary.

I just want to encourage you to begin to think about your future, and the necessities that must be done.

Here are a few tips on what you may need to do:

  • Gather all financial statements/documents
  • Switch necessary accounts that need to be in your name only. Ie; cell phone
  • Rent a PO Box to secure privacy for important mail
  • Check your credit report
  • Open a savings/checking acct in your name only if you don’t have one.
  • Schedule co-parenting agreement/calendar

You are more than capable. Be encouraged.

-Andrea Stuckey


Dear Divorcée, – Expect Transitions

Dear Divorcée,
It’s time for back to school shopping. It reminds me of the year that I was transitioning my daughters into new learning environments after leaving my ex husband and going through a divorce. I knew that It was going to be very different in many ways.
My oldest daughter was going to be s senior in our local public high school, and had been homeschooled for 10 years. She was already taking some of her classes at a local community college, playing travel basketball, highly social, knew a lot of the kids from sports, but I was highly, highly concerned about how her experience would be as a senior.
My youngest daughter had never been to a traditional school. I taught her from preschool through first grade. I taught her how to read and used a popular school curriculum at home with her. She was very smart, but very shy and quiet. She would be going to a local private school entering second grade. I was really concerned about how she would adapt.
I just couldn’t continue to teach them at home and work the night shift. I was exhausted. I felt like a failure, and I felt guilty that they had to undergo these new changes. They each went to their individual environments and excelled. My oldest daughter was inducted in the National Honor Society, played on the Varsity basketball team and had a normal Senior year like the rest of her peers. She was accepted to numerous colleges, received academic scholarships, and went on to study civil engineering at a state university. My youngest had a few challenges adapting to some of the basics like the flow of the school days etc. Shortly thereafter, she fit in like all the rest of the children. She is still at that school, an honor student, competitive gymnast and cheerleader. Both girls did just fine.
You may be facing similar changes on today. You may be physically transitioning many areas of your life. I just want to encourage you that through the various changes, you and your children will okay. Don’t allow the overwhelm of changes to consume you. Just don’t make too many changes at once. Take care of yourself. Breathe. They and you are so much stronger than you think.
-Andrea M. Stuckey

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