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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Co-parenting in divorce after child custody settlement

Divorcing spouses in Houston are probably relieved when the papers are finalized; however, couples with children may have different points of view after the divorce. When children are involved in divorce, the parents have to settle child custody and visitation issues. Conversely, even after these matters are agreed upon, both parents may have to work together to make sure that they do what is best for the child.

The next challenge for divorced parents may be co-parenting. Co-parenting is an option when both parents are able to overcome conflict and disagreements that come with divorce and cooperate for the sake of the child. According to experts, divorced parents should not prevent a child from spending time with the other parent. A child who spends safe, quality time with both the custodial and the non-custodial parent also may have an easier time adjusting to the new arrangement.

In instances where the parent is dealing with complex emotions associated with divorce, experts say that parent should never try to make the child play the role of confidant. Parents who confide their emotions to their child may inadvertently cause the child stress and confusion. Speaking negatively about the other parent, if absolutely necessary, should only be done with a friend or a professional who can listen to the parent and assess the situation objectively.

Experts also emphasize that being a successful co-parent also requires teamwork with the former spouse. Both parents need to be able to talk about the issues that affect the child.

Co-parents should both try to spend time with the child during school activities, holidays and other events. Doing this may allow the child to adjust more easily to the divorce and enjoy spending time with both parents.

Source: Huffington Post, "Cooperative co-parenting: keys to making it work," Rosalind Sedacca, Mar. 4, 2013

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