Transitioning from Couples to Co-Parents

“I cannot wait to be done with that person” commonly escapes the mouth of a divorcing couple. Often times, divorce simply changes the nature of the relationship, rather than ending it.  

Belonging to the same organizations, being in similar friend circles, or co-parenting children means a relationship continues. It simply evolves into a different type of relationship.  Today’s focus is the transition to co-parenting.

Some parents discover they are much better at sharing co-parenting responsibilities than living together as spouses. However, spouses who did not communicate clearly about parental responsibilities during marriage may find it even more difficult when they stop living under the same roof.   

One parent may assume the other will take all the responsibilities previously held or believe both parents will now automatically share equally in the responsibilities. Having a clear communication about all the child’s needs and who will take care of them when makes a huge difference. This is not a one-time conversation.   

Each parent may also have ideas about how the other parent “should” behave.  Since the relationship changed from couple to co-parents, the responsibilities to each other certainly change as well. 

Parents may find themselves talking even more than before about the child’s activity schedules, medical appointments, and other matters as both parents assume responsibilities that one person may have just handled when together.   

Navigating the new relationship may sometimes be a challenge. It may feel awkward talking with an ex-spouse. Keeping the focus on the child and seeing the co-parent as a teammate in caring for the child may help.  

Both parents and the children have needs for connection, safety, security, respect, and peace.  Everyone involved may have very different ideas about how that happens. Look for next week’s blog, where I offer five tips for resolving co-parenting issues.  

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Most widely known as Lonzo's human, mediator, speaker, and author Sherry Ann Bruckner works with leaders and organizations to create peace, resolve conflict, and transform visions into results.

From her twenty-plus years' experience practicing civil and family law, and her own personal experiences with silence and violence, Sherry Ann understands how much inner peace impacts outer peace. A graduate of Hamline University's College of Liberal Arts and William Mitchell College of Law, she also studied conflict resolution at Rothberg International School in Jerusalem. Sherry serves as a neutral on matters ranging from bias and employment discrimination to marriage dissolution and caring for aging parents. A speaker and trainer on the global stage, Sherry gives you and your audience practical skills and the confidence to use embrace your personal power to create peace. Through helping thousands of people navigate their way through conflict, and finding her own way to inner peace, she shares the transformational power of clarity, compassion, curiosity, and cribbage.

Visit to learn more or give her a call at (320) 808-3212.
Sherry Ann Bruckner

Be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.