Helicopter Parenting & Shared Custody

Your divorce is finally over. The papers are filed, everything that needs to be signed is signed, and custody has been established. Now that’s over, it’s time to relax with your children, and move on with your lives.

That is, unless your ex is a helicopter parent.

A helicopter parent is one who “hovers” over their children and pays extremely close attention to their experiences and problems. To a certain degree, that level of engagement from a parent is understandable, especially with shared custody. They will potentially spend half a year without seeing their children, and that isn’t easy for everyone. It’s important to establish a parenting plan to set ground rules when an ex gets to be too much to handle to ensure the best environment for your children.

  • It’s not about you. Remember, your children come first. As hard as the divorce may have been for you, they just watched their parents make the decision to give up a life together. Keeping your child’s best interest at heart will at least start them down the road to recovery.
  • Find a way to compromise, or at least pick your battles. Some decisions, like what school they go to, or who gets certain weekends and holidays are worth standing your ground over. Other decisions, like what they should have for dinner when they’re at your ex’s house aren’t quite as important. Having at least a cordial relationship with your ex will help your children deal with their changing life.
  • Don’t pass your problems on to your children. You may hate your ex, but it’s important to avoid unnecessarily influencing your children’s opinion of their other parent. Even if you two were a bad match, that doesn’t mean they won’t end up being a good parent. Give them the chance to make an impression on your children by themselves without your negative opinions floating through their thoughts.
  • The parenting plan isn’t set in stone. It’s worth coming back to the agreement every so often to make sure everything is working out. Did you get a new job, or did your old job change your hours so the old settlement is harder for you to manage? Did the same happen to your ex? Just keep the first rule in mind, and move forward from there.

Even the best parenting plan can fall through if there’s a helicopter parent involved. They might want constant updates, make demands when they drop off your children, or just generally try to control every aspect of their children’s lives even though shared custody was established.

If you feel like your ex is overstepping the rules established during the divorce and are in need of a Colorado family law attorney, The Harris Law Firm is here for you. If you have a question about your situation, reach out to us through our contact form and let us answer it for free.

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