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Top 3 Ways To Make Co-parenting Work for You

Happy New Year! If you’re like most people, you’ve at least considered creating a few New Year’s resolutions to start the year off right. Traditionally, resolutions revolve around health and wellness. Goals to get in shape, stay active or eat healthier seem to top everyone’s list.

This year, we invite divorced parents to consider a different goal. It’s a resolution that will benefit your entire family, regardless of where you are in the divorce process.

With over 100 years of combined experience in family law, we’ve seen it all. From soon-to-be-ex spouses who work together to develop mutually beneficial family plans, to couples who fight over everything from visitation to who can take the child to the hairdresser.

This experience has taught us a very important lesson: couples who work together for the wellbeing of their children, help minimize the negative effects of divorce on their kids. A great way to work together is by taking a partnership approach to co-parenting. When you co-parent together supportively and respectfully, your kids win.

Here are three crucial steps to create a peaceful partnership with your ex, for your benefit and that of your kids:

  1. Communicate – Without communication, co-parenting doesn’t stand a chance. If you find it difficult to communicate with your ex without arguing, try changing the way you think about your relationship. Consider co-parenting a business relationship, with the goal of raising healthy, well-adjusted kids. Doing this will allow you to focus on what matters, not the issues you have with each other that could cloud your judgment.
  2. Keep unkind, judgemental thoughts to yourself (or share with another adult) – One of the most harmful things you can do to your child following divorce is to talk disparagingly about the other parent. In doing so, you put your child in the middle of your conflict. Studies have shown that children in these situations often feel insecure, helpless or less confident about their own abilities. Your goal should always be about preserving the relationship that your child has with the other parent.
  3. Stay kid-focused – You and your ex will not parent exactly the same, nor will you always agree on what’s best for your children. Differences in parenting strategies are not the end of the world. Unless your ex does something that puts your children in emotional or physical danger, you should take the approach of saying something positive or nothing at all. This is a new process for both you and your ex, and it’s one neither of you will do perfectly.

For divorced couples, these three tips can feel like lofty goals. The benefit of working towards a healthy co-parenting relationship though is huge. There is nothing better than raising kids who are well-adjusted and healthy, despite going through a divorce. In many cases, when you put in the effort to co-parent peacefully with your ex, your children become more self-assured and resilient than you thought possible.

Whether you’re just starting the divorce process or you’re in the midst of ironing out a co-parenting plan, we can help. Contact us today.

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