Learn to co-parent successfully with your ex

For many couples, coming to the decision to get a divorce can be difficult and filled with emotion. While the decision itself can be complex, what comes next can sometimes create an even bigger challenge.

After you have made the decision to obtain a dissolution from your current spouse, the ensuing months are generally spent negotiating the details of your divorce, including custody and visitation arrangements, alimony and the division of assets.

While it is easy to get bogged down in the details, it is important for parents to maintain focus on their children during this transition. By deciding to adhere to a few guidelines, parents can create an effective co-parenting arrangement that will benefit their children and themselves.

Treat your former spouse with respect

When you are in front of your children, ensure that you act respectfully when you interact with your ex. Even if the divorce proceedings are contentious, it is important to put them aside when your children are involved.

In other words, make efforts not to argue with your ex when your children are present. Conversations regarding the terms of the divorce are best left to meetings with your attorneys.

Never put your children in the middle

While tempting, parents should make efforts not to involve their children in their divorce proceedings. For instance, do not to use your children as intermediaries between yourself and your former spouse. Determine the method of communication that is best suited for you and your ex - in person, email, text messaging - so it is unnecessary to ask your children to deliver messages for you.

In addition, avoid making negative comments about your former spouse in front of your children. Doing so encourages them to take sides. Children should not feel the need to choose one parent over the other.

Work with your ex to establish consistency

When children are going through the transition of a divorce, it is important to develop a consistent routine. This will promote a feeling of security. Establishing set routines, such as when children complete their homework and when they go to bed, will help simplify the transition.

Whenever possible, parents should enforce similar rules and support each other when it comes to discipline. For example, if a child has lost a privilege, such as playing video games for one week, the other parent should enforce the punishment if the child spends part of the week at his or her home.

By following these guidelines, it will help your children have an easier time adjusting to the divorce.

If you are considering a divorce, you should seek legal counsel from a skilled family law attorney. In such cases, a lawyer will be able to ensure that the child custody arrangements are equitable and that you do not lose assets to which you are entitled.

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