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How to be successful at co-parenting after a divorce

Parenting isn't always easy when a couple stays married. Imagine how much more complicated it gets after a couple goes through a divorce. Aside from figuring out custody issues, parents need to continue to communicate even though their own relationship has soured.

It's important for ex-couples who co-parent after a divorce to communicate and be on the same wavelength for the good of their kids. A recent article highlights some important things to keep in mind when co-parenting.

• Routinely check in with the other parent. It's important to check in with your children's other parent to coordinate schedules, discuss expectations and reflect on other matters. Whether it's a phone conversation, a brief email, or an in-person meeting, such communication will ultimately be beneficial to the kids.

• Don't discourage a child's relationship with the other parent. Whether one spouse harbors hard feelings against the other, kids will need a healthy relationship with both parents, and getting in the way of that may only make the kids resent you.

• Don't cut out the in-laws. A child's grandparent is an important person in their life, and severing ties will only bring anguish. Family functions that involve extended family members often bring a child joy.

• Respect the other parent's boundaries and rules. Even if you would do everything differently compared to an ex-spouse's parenting style, unless it's dangerous or destructive it may be best to let them parent however they want to parent. Letting it go will help you avoid frustration and focus on more important things at hand.

Source: Huffington Post, "Make smart choices for post-divorce co-parenting success," Rosalind Sedacca, July 23, 2012

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