Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

How to co-parent after a divorce

Utah parents going through a divorce may find it difficult to come up with a parenting agreement both parents can agree on. The parenting agreement will specify decision-making, child support, custody and parenting time schedules. The better you and your ex-spouse are at co-parenting, the happier and healthier your children will be.

Experts advise that parents should always keep their feelings about each other to themselves. If you are open with how much you hate your ex-spouse, your children may also turn against them, making it much harder to co-parent. Instead of bashing your former spouse, you should focus solely on doing what is best for your children. Along those same lines, you should always show respect to your ex-spouse for being your child's parent. Expressing your gratitude towards them will make them more likely to work with you on co-parenting.

The most important part of co-parenting is open communication. By keeping your ex-spouse in the loop when it comes to your kids, you will find it easier to plan for school events, vacations and holidays. You and your ex-spouse should prepare for the inevitable change that comes along with divorce and do whatever you can to make this change easier for your children to handle. This means that you need to allow your kids to share their feelings openly about scheduling, parenting time and other common divorce issues. You should also do your best to keep your kids informed regarding the schedule so that they know where they will be each day.

Co-parenting is never easy, even if you are on good terms with your ex-spouse. However, the reality is that, in most cases, it is in the best interest of the child to have both parents in their lives. You and your ex-spouse should do whatever you can to stay involved and form solid relationships with your children.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "5 Tips for Successful Co-Parenting," Leah Klungness, May 3, 2017

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