Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

Do these things to be a better parent after divorce

Many people opt against divorce because they're concerned about the impact on their children. While it's nice to put your children first, it's not a good reason to stay in a bad marriage. You need to do what's best for you, as this ultimately means doing what's best for your children.

The way you parent during your marriage won't be the same as the way you parent after divorce. Here are five tips you can use to be a better parent once your divorce is finalized:

  • Focus on spending quality time with your children: Many parents get caught up fighting for as much parenting time as possible. While this is important to a certain degree, a quality over quantity approach is the way to go. Make every minute with your children count.
  • Regularly review your parenting plan: What worked in the past may not work today. And what works today may not work tomorrow. Regular reviews of your parenting plan will help you make changes as necessary (with the approval of your ex-spouse, of course).
  • Communicate with your ex-spouse: If you don't have children with your ex-spouse, you can go your own way and never talk again. However, when co-parenting, this isn't doable. You need to communicate regularly, whether it is via phone, text, email or face-to-face meetings.
  • Don't let your temper get the best of you: There will be times when you want to lose your temper, such as if the other parent blatantly does something you asked them to avoid. It's easy to scream and argue, but you'll regret it in the future.
  • Work on yourself: Now that you're single, you can spend more time working on yourself. Focus on things you can do to make yourself a better parent, as this benefits both you and your children.

Don't go through the divorce process with the idea that it will ruin your children's lives. Things are sure to change, but that doesn't mean your children have to suffer.

When you focus on the best interests of your children, you can expect to become a better parent. And when this happens, you'll realize that the decision you made to divorce was the right one.

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Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

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Franklin, MA 02038

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