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Co-parenting strategies can help child's well-being

Some divorced parents in Missouri may not be warm to the idea of co-parenting. After all, not all divorced couples part amicably and maintain friendships afterward. Visitation schedules, managing holidays and summers and working out disciplinary actions for children can be difficult for parents who remain at odds. However, there are simple co-parenting strategies to help parents through the co-parenting process, if they choose to make the best interests of their children their primary concern.

The first is to communicate on a regular basis. In fact, communication is the foundation of effective co-parenting. If parents still have trouble talking in person, they can converse through email or text messaging. It can help keep emotions in check and provides parents with hard copies of their conversations. Ultimately, communication is about give and take, so parents could end up working through issues that keep them at odds.

The second is to ask for professionals' help. This is especially important when a child's well-being is on the line. Family counseling can be a good step for both parents and children, and a family law professional can help clarify legal issues as well as help work out visitation schedules and parenting time, and conflicts over relocation if it happens.

The third is to stay out of the courtroom. Divorced parents should keep from using a judge as an umpire. Use litigation only when absolutely necessary. Going to court at the slightest misunderstanding or provocation keeps the flames of anger burning and does nothing to foster cooperation. It can also be very costly. Parents really can learn to talk issues out without resorting to time in a courtroom.

Finally, divorced parents should always look at the bigger picture when it comes to co-parenting. The best interests of their children should always come first.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: Tips for Successful and Healthy Co-Parenting," Caroline Choi, May 9, 2014

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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