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Handling the negative aspects of co-parenting

A co-parenting relationship is often the best option for the children, but it doesn't always go smoothly. There is a good chance that you, your ex and your children might have some things that need to be addressed when you are in this type of parenting relationship.

Determining the best ways to work through the negative aspects of co-parenting can stabilize the situation.

Focus on the positive

There will be times when you might feel like everything is going wrong. Instead of focusing on the negative, focus on the positive things that are happening. As much as possible, you need to encourage your children to do the same.

It is very difficult for children to deal with having parents who don't live together. This is especially true when the children are older and have gotten accustomed to both living in the same home. Helping them work through the anger and other emotions that come with the change is often necessary.

Keep the lines of communication open

The lines of communication between you and your ex must remain open at all times. Children are going to test limits and try to figure out how to get what they want. This might mean trying to pit one parent against the other.

Some issues might prove to be difficult for you and your ex to work through. When this occurs, try to keep the children away from the discussions. There isn't any reason for them to privy to the negotiations.

Also, don't use your children as messengers. All communication should be handled directly between you and your ex.

Don't skirt around the rules

Consistency is a key of a successful co-parenting relationship. Your children need the rules to remain the same at both homes. Trying to skirt around the rules can be confusing for the children.

You and your ex should discuss rules that are going to apply to both homes. Write these rules out so that there isn't any doubt about what they are.

Remember that the rules might need to change as the children get older and circumstances shift. This means that you and your ex will likely need to have another discussion so that you remain on the same page in a manner that is age appropriate for your children.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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