Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Work toward a respectful co-parenting relationship

Divorcing when you have children means that you can't cut yourself off completely from your ex. Instead, you are still going to have to see them and communicate with them when you have things to discuss about the children. Going into the situation with the expectation that you will be agreeable co-parents can minimize your stress and boost your child's ability to cope with the situation.

When you are working with your ex about child custody, you must remember that the sole focus has to be the child's best interests. Both parents have to think about what the kids need and make decisions based on that.

You also need to realize that you are going to have to spend time around your ex when your child has special events to attend. This might include things like extracurricular activities, school graduations, weddings, religious events or parent-teacher conferences.

It is unrealistic to think that either you or your ex will be remarkably different now that you have divorced. Instead, the dynamics of your relationship will change. You will still have some emotions related to your ex that you have to work through. It might benefit you to remember that your ex can still be a good parent even though the marriage ended.

Setting co-parenting terms in the child custody agreement can benefit everyone involved, including the adults and the children. You may need to have a detailed plan in place, but some people want to leave room for some flexibility. The important thing to remember in these situations is that the children's best interests remain at the center of all decisions that are made.

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