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Making co-parenting work after divorce by putting kids first


For parents in Minnesota and elsewhere, it is often the case that the parents know what is best for their children. However, when major life events occur, this could be difficult to discern. When parents decide to get a divorce, it is likely that everything that they once knew is suddenly drastically changing. While it can be difficult for a spouse to acclimate to a single life after being married for so many years, a child has likely only known one life -- one with both parents in a single household. Therefore, it is likely that the children of a divorce are going through a significant amount of emotional and mental anguish. This makes is especially important that divorcing and divorced parents put their children first.

Whether a divorce is messy, amicable or tolerable, the process of going from one home to two homes is a significant change for a child. Thus, developing a child custody plan that meets the needs and best interests of a child is important. Divorcing parents need a plan, and that means determining how best to co-parent.

Co-parenting is often the sought out custody arrangement because it offers parenting time to both parents. Spending quality time with both parents is likely ideal; however, by putting children first, this mean opening up the communication avenues and understanding what they need and want. While this is greatly dependent on the age of the child, in some cases, the thoughts and feelings the children involved could impact a custody plan.

In a co-parenting relationship, there are three golden rules divorced parents should live by. First, they should never vent to their children about divorce issue or ex-spouse. Second, parents should never talk negatively about their ex-spouse in front of their children. Lastly, parents should never use their children as messengers.

While there is no single way to initiate and carryout a co-parenting arrangement, divorce parents should understand that it is often a process to develop a workable custody plan. This might require mediation or even litigation; however, taking these steps will likely meet and protect the best interests of the children involved.

Source: Commdiginews.com, "Divorcing or divorced parents: Kids come first," Paul Samakow, Aug. 14, 2016

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