Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

How to co-parent after a divorce

The terrain ahead following a divorce can be uneven and challenging for newly divorce parents and families which is why understanding how to successfully co-parent can be useful. Some tips for successful co-parenting can help. To begin with, it is important for both parents to provide quality time with their children and to be there for them both physically and emotionally, as divorce is an adjustment for everyone.

In addition, it is important to talk with the children about the divorce and assure them that they have not been abandoned either physically or emotionally as change inevitably occurs following a divorce. Along those lines, it is important to let the children be children and not involve them in the problems the parents are facing. Divorced parents should also cooperate and support the other parent's role and relationship with the children, remaining focused on what is in the best interests of the children.

While cooperation is important between the divorce parents, communication is also key. Divorced parents should maintain open lines of communication and should also not speak disparagingly about the other parent in front of the children. Divorced parents should always act and speak with respect to one another in front of the children. Parents can also seek co-parenting supports and should maintain the child's community support system. Divorced parents should educate themselves concerning their children's needs and the resources available to meet those needs and support them in co-parenting. Parents should also take care of themselves and make their mental, emotional and physical health a priority.

The family law process can help parents establish a child custody arrangement and a co-parenting plan, help them enforce the child custody agreement they already have and help them modify a child custody agreement if the need arises. There are many resources available to help guide parents through the divorce process and beyond and the family law system is not exception.

Source: Psychology Today, "What Makes for Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce?" Edward Kruk Ph.D., Nov. 10, 2014

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Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

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