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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Effective coparenting after divorce

One of the most difficult aspects of divorce for parents in Houston is co-parenting with an ex-spouse. A healthy co-parenting arrangement can help children adjust. While communication is an important element of functional co-parenting, this does not mean parents must carry on in-person conversations if it is difficult for them. They may want to use text, email or even online tools specifically designed to facilitate conversations about custody. Parents should never use their children as messengers.

While there will generally be a custody schedule in place and parents should try to follow it, they should also be flexible. For example, if one parent proposes a fun outing but it is during the other parent's scheduled time, that parent may still want to allow it if it is in the best interests of the child. Parents should try to be consistent in terms of rules and expectations. Many experts say this can make children feel more secure.

It can be hard for parents to miss important moments in a child's life, but each parent can help the other share by taking time to snap a photo or memorialize those moments in other ways. Parents should also make a point of speaking positively about one another and encouraging the child's relationship with the other parents.

There are a few situations in which this level of co-parenting may not be possible. In complex child custody disputes, one parent may be concerned that the other parent will abuse or neglect the child. The parent may not want the other parent to have access to the child at all, or the other parent may only be allowed supervised visitation. If one parent is from another country, this could cause issues as well. The other parent may be concerned about the possibility of an international abduction.

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