Joel W. Anders, P.C.
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Co-parenting decisions are best determined in private

One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce that involves minor children is coming up with the child custody agreement. Some people tend to air out their frustrations to other people but doing this can be counterproductive. Instead, most people should take a note from the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie divorce. The former power couple is working things out in private instead of involving everyone around them.

Divorces that involve children will need customized approaches to the child custody issues. In the Brangelina case, the children are adopted but this doesn't mean they are treated differently from biological kids. No matter how your children came into your family, you will have to come up with a parenting plan. Here are some points to know about the co-parenting model.

Keep respect at the top of your list

Mutual respect between you and your ex is a must if you are going to continue to work closely to co-parent your children. In this parenting model, you and your ex keep major rules and expectations the same between both homes. Things like bed times and basic routines will usually carry over from one house to the other. Some smaller rules such as where children are allowed to eat might be present in only one home. On top of the rules, both parents maintain an active role in the children's activities. This means both might be at the child's school play or other events.

Remember that negotiations are a priority

Each decision made during the co-parenting process will require negotiations. Instead of being intractable about what you want, you have to be willing to compromise or the situation can devolve. It might help you to step back and take stock of what is truly important. You might find that there is a plausible middle ground where you and your ex can meet.

Put everything in writing

Once decisions are made about the parenting plan, put them in writing. This enables you to refer back to it later if there are questions about what needs to happen. If the agreements are made verbally, consider exchanging an email with the terms so that you can ensure you are on the same page as the other parent.

Focus on the needs of the children

One of the most important things that you have to do for the entire length of the agreement is to put the children first. Don't fall into the mode of thinking that you have to make everything easier for yourself or harder for your ex. By keeping the focus on your children, you will likely find that you are less stressed and more able to enjoy the situation.

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