Joel W. Anders, P.C.
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Tips for working with your ex to raise children

Co-parenting isn't something that any parent is likely going to think is easy. Not only do you have the normal demands of parenthood, you also have to deal with your ex about how to handle various matters. This is where a big challenge comes into the picture.

One thing that can make your time as a co-parent easier is how you approach the arrangement. If you come into it with a positive attitude and a determination to make it work, you might find that it is easier. While you can't control your ex's actions, you can find peace within yourself knowing that you are doing what's best for your children.

Show mutual respect

You and your ex must decide that you are going to show each other respect. This should occur when the kids are around and when they aren't. Don't fall into the habit of disparaging your ex to anyone. You never know when your words will get back to your ex or to the kids. You should also require that anyone who is going to spend time with the kids offers respect, too. There is no room for anyone causing strife.

Remain firm but flexible

Not every conflict in co-parenting is serious enough to warrant an argument. Think about how the situation is going to impact the children and leave it alone if you realize that it won't be that big of a deal. You should only go to bat with your ex when the situation warrants it.

There might be times when your ex asks you to change something with the parenting plan. This might be switching days you have the children so that they can attend a special event or see family members who live out of town. In these cases, think about how you'd like your ex to handle it if you were in their shoes. This might help you to be as flexible as possible.

Present a united front

Children will sometimes try to play one parent against the other after a divorce. You can help to thwart this by presenting a united front with your ex in front of the children. Back each other up when the kids are around, and handle any disagreements in private. This can help them to feel more secure and may prevent some instances of them trying to get one parent to do what the other one won't do.

Remember, your parenting plan is an outline of what needs to happen with the kids. This doesn't mean that you and your ex can't use discretion for some matters. The goal is to get the children what they need and help them to have the best life possible.

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