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Tips for Successful Co-Parenting

A divorce can tease out the worst sides of both you and your ex spouse, creating a vacuum of pain and resentment in the void between. Cooperating with an ex on a weekly basis may be the last thing you want to do, but a positive co-parenting relationship between the two of you is essential to the emotional and mental health of your child, especially in situations of equal joint physical custody, when balanced co-parenting is most possible. According to research done by the University of New Hampshire, successful co-parenting can help children develop feelings of stability, make them feel less torn between parents, and are less likely to feel abandoned. One immediate concept both you and your ex need to embrace is that like it or not, you’re in this together. For your child’s sake, you must put all of your emotions behind you, and develop an amicable, if shallow, relationship with your ex. You have to see them, you have to speak to them; accept this. It will get easier with time. Develop a good channel of communication. As in you and your ex spouse. According to Psychology Today, Research indicates that burdening your child with your adult issues promotes feelings of helplessness and insecurity, which can cause children to question their own strengths and abilities. Do not make your child your messenger or your primary source of information about your exes life, especially if your tone is negative. Have that conversation with your ex yourself, and leave your child out of the conflict. Good communication only occurs if you both stay focused on your joint goals...
Creating a Child-Focused Parenting Plan

Creating a Child-Focused Parenting Plan

A custody and visitation agreement – often called a parenting plan – is a key part of any child custody arrangement. It is a set of stipulations agreed upon by both parents that determine how child custody will be arranged, how visitation will be scheduled, and how decisions about the health, education, and general well-being of the children should be made. These agreements are made between parents, often with attorney or mediator assistance, and when they are fully accepted by both parties, they are signed and sent to the judge to be filed as a court order. It is imperative that your children be your first and only priority when making a parenting plan. During the stressful and emotional times of a divorce, it is tempting to base your decisions around your ex, trying to make them upset or take things away from them, but this kind of thinking is detrimental and dangerous to your children’s well-being. Whatever emotional distress you may be feeling during your divorce, your kids are feeling more, and watching their parents bicker only makes things worse for them. You have to put them first, even if that means making nice with possibly your least favorite person in the world right now. Make “my kids come first” your mantra. When making decisions about your parenting plan, your kids are everything. You should make certain that your plan takes into account your children’s basic needs, such as that they are eating or sleeping well, that they have adequate medical care and coverage, that their education is taken care of, and that they have happy, loving homes...