How do I co-parent with my husband after I divorce him?

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 11 Sep, 2023 07:50 | 2 mins read
Stressed young woman. PHOTO/Print
Stressed young woman. PHOTO/Print

Hi Achokis, I recently separated from my husband after nine years of marriage. I had hoped that we would reconcile, but I find it hard to do so after what he took me through.

I’m now considering a divorce and would like your advice on how we can co-parent our two children.

- Wanjiku

Hi Wanjiku. Thank you for reaching out on how you can co-parent your children. Divorce is never an easy affair. The decisions that we make in life do not only affect us, but affect those around us as well, especially our children.

Many couples think that separation does not affect the children, but it does. If this is handled well through therapy, there will be minimal casualties. Allow the children to express themselves and don’t use them against your ex husband. Remember they belong to both of you no matter what has happened.

During the time of separation, emotions can be high, so one might opt to brood over the pain caused by the things the spouse has done. It is not an easy time as you are flooded by the memories of what was done to you and the emotions caused.

You were also hopeful that things would be resolved, but when that doesn’t happen, your hopes are dashed. You are now left with the reality of what might be, the end of your marriage and that’s a painful thing.

Your children are innocent

So, allow yourself to grieve this loss by going through counselling to help you process your pain. Failure to let go and forgive will leave you in a place where you continue to lash out at each other.

From this space of hurt and aggression, you will want to use the children against your husband, further complicating an already messy situation. You will be projecting your anger onto those innocent children.

Remember the issue is not with them, but between you and their dad.

He is still their father

They say never say never, so don’t completely shut the door for a possible reconciliation and restoration of the marriage. However, if you feel that you have processed the separation well and realise that there are no chances of the marriage being restored, you may have to think of what to do next.

And probably that’s where you are finding yourself. Don’t forget that he still remains the father of your children, so you need to accord him that respect and you two need to be cordial with each other. From this place of cordiality, you will be able to reach an amicable agreement on how you want to co-parent the children.

You will have to agree on things such as who will be the primary caregiver (don’t assume), visits, discipline, finances, school and public holidays among others. In cases where you are not able to agree, then you can engage the services of a lawyer to help you understand what the law says.

You will also need support, either from your family or friends. They say it takes a whole village to raise a child.

The writers are marriage and relation coaches
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