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Tips for Co-Parenting

Co-parenting after a divorce helps your child feel more secure and reduces conflict in your family. To make co-parenting work:

Create a very defined schedule.  A carefully planned schedule prevents confusion and arguments. Take into your account not only the parents’ schedules, but work around your child’s games, recitals, practices, lessons, and events.

Do not use your child as a messenger. Anything that you need to communicate to your ex needs to be shared directly. When you use your child as a go-between, he feels responsible for the emotions displayed by both parents.

Discuss issues without your child. If you need to work out problems with child support, spousal support, or parenting time schedules, do so when your child cannot hear. Your goal needs to be to reduce conflict around your child whenever possible.

Decide to be a team. Whatever differences you and your ex have, your job moving forward is to work as a parenting team. Instead of focusing on your problems with each other, focus on your child and what you can do together to give her a good life.

Deflect arguments. Instead of allowing conflict to take over, adopt a business-like approach to your communications to keep things civil. Stay on topic and try to keep emotions in check.

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