Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C.

5 tips for putting kids first when co-parenting

Courts tend to favor joint custody, which means you and your ex will probably wind up co-parenting your children.

The goal, for the court and for you as parents, is to focus on the children's best interests. You want to put them first. While co-parenting can be challenging, here are five different ways you can do it:

1. Focus on clear communication.

Talk about decisions, problems at home, financial issues and everything else. Communicate with your spouse clearly and effectively.

2. Start up new traditions with your children.

Old traditions may change. Both parents cannot be with the children all summer long or on Christmas morning. Start new traditions to stay connected with the kids and to reduce the impact of these changes on their lives.

3. Never fight in front of the children.

Arguments happen. Tempers flare. When the kids are around, take a deep breath and keep the peace. Do not stress them out with your own arguments and issues.

4. Support the children at every turn.

Be selfless. Your kids need you to be there for them, especially during the confusion of a divorce. Give them that support, even when life feels overwhelming.

5. Make decisions with the children as the focal point.

It is easy to want to make decisions that focus on what you want. Set that aside. Find out what the kids want and need, and make those decisions, even if it's not ideal for you.

This process can be complex, but it is incredibly important for the children's well-being. Make sure you know your rights and what steps you should take.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "5 Easy Ways to Keep the Kids at the Center of Co-Parenting," accessed April 20, 2018

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