A year ago today my divorce was finalized, and I couldn’t be happier with how far we have come the last couple years. Our separation was far from easy, but I am very proud of the relationship that we have today. Just because you get divorced does not mean you have to hate each other, and us getting along has made life SO much easier – on everyone involved. It takes time, but it is possible to come out on the other side as friends.
I often get compliments on the way we handled our divorce, and the way that we co-parent our daughter. Our divorce was pretty smooth; we never stepped foot in a lawyer’s office, we share custody of our daughter, we split all costs for her, and we don’t do child support. We do things like her birthday party and parent teacher interviews together, we have a lot of the same friends, and we see each other often. Growing up with divorced parents that were friends made things much easier for me as a child, and it was extremely important to me after we separated, that Casey grew up with parents that got along.
For anyone going through a divorce with kids right now, the biggest piece of advice I’ve can give you (that I’ve learned from both mine and Jordan’s divorces), is to LET EACH OTHER LIVE. Each parent is going to have different parenting styles, different views, different priorities, different morals and different lifestyles, based on who they are as a person – so it’s normal to not always agree with what the other parent does. BUT if your child is happy, healthy, and safe – that’s ALL that matters. If you believe that your ex is a good parent, you have to let them live their life and trust that they are doing what they believe is best. The key to co-parenting is taking a step back and allowing each other to raise the kids how they see fit. Even if you disagree with how they do something in their home, you have to try to refrain from criticizing them, because it won’t help. You are divorced, and giving each other the respect to be a parent and make their own choices, will make things so much better between you two. And besides, kids having different experiences and learning different viewpoints is actually a good thing, and will teach them that everyone thinks differently, to be open minded, and to come up with their own views and opinions in life based on what they learn.
I know my daughter is in an extremely loving, happy and healthy home at her daddy’s, so I don’t need to know to know the fine details of his day to day to life with her. I am incredibly grateful for the relationship Casey has with her father and his girlfriend, and the way that we all get along. James and I are happy in our own lives with our new families, which is all that I ever wanted for the both of us. Turns out we did live happily ever after, just apart.