Single Parenting: Working Divorce
Working Divorce: Considering Breakup? Read "Articles of Consideration."
By CARL PICKHARDT
Here’s a common question a newly divorced single parent will sometimes ask: “Why would I want to treat someone well who I wanted to divorce and am glad I did?” The answer is, you wouldn’t, except if you have children. In this case, you must divorce as partners, but remain married as parents, finding ways to work harmoniously together for the sake of your kids.
So, what is the best way to treat the other parent? Treat your ex-spouse as a valued ally on whom you depend to work toward a common objective – the welfare of the children. To maintain and cultivate this alliance, treat him or her diplomatically by demonstrating acts of consideration that convey the value you place upon this relationship.
(If you are remarried, explain to your new partner how important it is to maintain a working alliance with your ex-spouse. Explain how showing consideration for your ex-spouse is not a matter of romantic caring for him or her. Consideration for your new spouse is a matter of love. Consideration for your ex-spouse is a matter of maintaining a well working alliance for the sake of the children.)
It may sound too old fashioned and trivial to matter, but quality of the divorced parent relationship has a lot to do with courtesy each parent shows the other. Courtesy refers to specific acts that signify consideration. Successful alliances are maintained by a meticulous show of consideration, and they quickly deteriorate without it.
SUBSCRIBING TO "THE ARTICLES OF CONSIDERATION"
Obviously, the relationship between divorced parents does not always run smoothly, any more than the course of true love, which in this case ended in divorce. However, with effort and attention, there are some specific acts of courtesy that signify consideration and tend to support a strong working alliance between two divorced parents who are still wed to doing their joint best for the children’s sake.