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Overcoming co-parenting challenges

Even after you have divorced, your children deserve to have a relatively stable and close relationship with both parents. With extra effort to put aside their personal issues, many parents can work together to provide their children the care they need. 

Co-Parenting Tips

Going through a divorce is often an emotional time for the whole family. If you can set aside your emotions when dealing with your child and his or her relationship with your former spouse, this will help your child adjust to the new arrangements better.

  • Never vent to your child. Use someone else to vent to like a therapist, friends, or other family. Your child should generally not be exposed to negative talk about their other parent.
  • Do not use your children as messengers. When you tell your children to let their parent know about something, it can make the child feel like they are involved in the conflict. It is important to keep your children out of your relationship issues as much as possible. Call or e-mail your former spouse later if you need to talk.
  • Use a business mentality. Think of your former spouse as a business relationship or coworker. You may not like them individually, but you have to work with him or her for the sake of your child's well-being. Try to have a polite and courteous working relationship.
  • Be consistent. Your child will adjust better if rules, discipline, and scheduling are similar in both households. Try to coordinate these items with your former spouse, if possible.

Stay focused on your child. Your child's best interests are at stake, so it is important to keep your emotions in check. Children will adjust better if you are positive and supportive. Keep in mind that neither parent divorced their child-so the child should not be caught in the middle.

For guidance and advocacy regarding your child custody situation, talk to an experienced family law attorney.

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