Navigating Co-Parenting in Divorce with Emotional Intelligence: A Guide for Parents

Navigating Co-Parenting in Divorce with Emotional Intelligence: A Guide for Parents

Navigating Co-Parenting in Divorce with Emotional Intelligence: A Guide for Parents

Divorce is undoubtedly one of the most challenging life experiences, especially when children are involved. As a law firm specializing in family law, we understand the emotional complexities that come with divorce and the significant impact it can have on families. In this post, we provide practical advice for parents to navigate divorce with emotional intelligence, focusing on strategies to prevent parental alienation and maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship.

Plan for success in Joint Custody Plans

Divorce proceedings can often become emotionally charged, leading to the risk of distancing between parent and child, or even parental alienation. Parental alienation occurs when one parent deliberately undermines the child’s relationship with the other parent. Proper custody planning will help proactively avoid this becoming your reality.

Our recommended strategies include:

Open Communication: Establishing and maintaining open lines of communication with the co-parent is essential. We advise using communication tools such as email or parenting apps to facilitate transparent and documented interactions.

Creating a Co-Parenting Plan: Developing a detailed co-parenting plan is paramount. This plan should outline responsibilities, schedules, and decision-making processes, providing clarity and preventing potential disputes.

Professional Guidance: Seeking legal advice is key to understanding rights and responsibilities. Our team of experienced family law attorneys can guide you through the legal aspects of divorce, ensuring a clear and well-defined path forward.

Suggested Language for a Co-Parenting Plan: Fostering Effective Communication

A well-crafted co-parenting plan is instrumental in creating a stable and nurturing environment for your children. Here is suggested language that can help parents work together and communicate effectively:

Communication Protocol:

“PHONE COMMUNICATION: Reasonable telephone communication respectively by the parties while the children are in the care and control of the other parent may occur at reasonable times and circumstances and shall not be excessive or intrusive on the children’s time with the possessory parent. Neither parent shall monitor the children’s conversations in any way with the other parent, nor shall they allow the children to monitor anything regarding the other parent.

COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PARTIES: Absent a legitimate emergency necessitating appropriate oral communication between the parties, all other communications shall be by electronic communication.”

Decision-Making Responsibilities:

” The intent and purpose of this Joint Custody Plan is to effectuate the sharing of parental rights and responsibilities, as well as to effectuate the sharing of information concerning the children, and provide continued access and association with the children to both parents in accordance with the public policy of this state under Title 43, Okla. Stat. Ann., § I I 0.1 and Title 43, Okla. Stat. Ann., §112(C)(l ). Mother and Father shall keep one another timely informed about matters affecting the children’s physical, mental and moral welfare.”

Parental Access and Visitation Schedule:

“In order to assure continuing association between the children and both parents, and to best promote and foster continued parent-child companionship, the physical possession of the children shall be as follows:


The parties shall equally share visitation on a 2-2-3 schedule as follows:



The Regular parenting schedule set forth above is for the purpose of providing assured minimum amounts of parenting between both parents and the children in accordance with Title 43, Okla. Stat. Ann.,§111.1. The parties shall reasonably communicate regarding the  regular parenting schedule, and work together to provide for the children’s best interests. In the event either party must deviate from the Regular parenting schedule, both parties shall work together to provide for alternate periods of parenting time, including specifically any work-related required deviations.

The parties may mutually agree to deviate from the Regular parenting schedule if both parties approve an alternative Regular parenting schedule; however, it is prohibited for either parent to place the children in a position where they are required or encouraged to make the decision regarding time spent with either parent.”

A Schedule for Holiday and Special Occasions:

HOLIDAYS: Holidays shall take precedence over other parenting time.

Spring Break: After school on the last day of classes  before Spring Break, until return to school the day school resumes.EvenOdd
Mother’s Day: Friday at 6:00 p.m. until the following Sunday at 6:00 p.m.Every year
Father’s Day: Friday at 6:00 p.m. until the following

Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

Every year
July 4: July 3 at 6:00 p.m. until July 5 at 6:00 p.m.EvenOdd
Fall Break: After school on the last day of classes the day Fall Break begins, until return to school the day school resumes.OddEven
Thanksgiving: After school on the last day of classes  before Thanksgiving until return to school the day

school resumes.

Christmas (first part): After school on the last day of classes before Christmas Break, until 12:00 noon on  December 27.EvenOdd
Christmas (second part): 12:00 noon on December 27 until return to school the day school resumes.OddEven


Dispute Resolution Mechanism:

Should a disagreement or dispute arise between the parties concerning the care, control, maintenance or management of the children, or interpretation of this Joint Custody Plan, the parties agree that the matter shall be mediated. It is the intent of this provision that the parties seek to utilize settlement alternatives prior to incurring the time and expense for the district court to resolve any problems; however, neither party shall be bound by this informal dispute resolution process.

These carefully crafted clauses can serve as a foundation for a cooperative and communicative co-parenting relationship and provide parents a plan to fall back on when disputes may arise.

III.      Emotional Intelligence: A Guide for Parents

Managing emotions during divorce is crucial for making rational decisions and maintaining a healthy co-parenting relationship. Here are strategies to avoid letting emotions get the better of you:

Seek Emotional Support:

Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist to share your feelings and receive emotional support. Having a support system can provide perspective and help you cope with the emotional challenges of divorce.

Prioritize Self-Care:

Take care of your physical and mental well-being. Engage in activities that bring you joy, exercise regularly, and ensure you are getting enough sleep. Taking care of yourself will positively impact your emotional resilience.

Professional Guidance:

Consult with a family law attorney who can provide legal advice and guide you through the divorce process. Having a clear understanding of the legal aspects can help alleviate anxiety and reduce emotional stress.

Set Realistic Expectations:

Understand that divorce is a challenging process, and it’s unlikely to be smooth sailing. Setting realistic expectations for the process and outcomes can help manage disappointment and frustration.

Focus on the Future:

Concentrate on planning for the future rather than dwelling on past grievances. Setting goals and envisioning a positive post-divorce life can shift your focus away from negative emotions.

By embracing these strategies, parents can navigate the emotional challenges of divorce with resilience and maintain a focus on the well-being of their children.

At The Smith Firm, we understand the unique challenges that come with divorce, and our dedicated team of family law attorneys is here to guide you through the process. By combining legal expertise with empathy, we work to empower parents to create a positive post-divorce future for themselves and their children. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward a brighter tomorrow.