Divorce is difficult no matter who goes through it, but families with children often have unique circumstances that make the process more complicated. Depending on your particular situation, you (and the courts) may decide that co-parenting is the best for your children.
Historically, children have typically been given to the mother for primary custody, but views on this have changed in modern years. If your situation allows for it, you may find that co-parenting is the best answer. However, establishing a successful co-parenting relationship can be tricky. According to Fatherhood.gov, the best approach to a co-parenting relationship is a businesslike one.
Focus on the children
It is natural to have some negative (or hurt) feelings regarding your ex-spouse after a divorce (as it is likely negative and hurt feelings lead to the divorce in the first place). However, it is important to remember that a co-parenting relationship is about the kids, not about you and your ex-spouse.
Establish a communication method
One of the best ways to ensure that the relationship between you and your ex-spouse remains professional where co-parenting is concerned is to carefully choose your means of communication. If there is a lot of raw emotion surrounding the divorce, you may want to keep all communications in email format for maximum professionalism. In extreme circumstances, it may be better to have a trusted friend or family member filter the communications for you.
It is also important to never speak badly of your ex-spouse in front of your children. If the other parent is, indeed, a derelict deadbeat, the children will come to this conclusion in their own time. Your focus should be on making the children’s lives as stable and positive as possible.