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Co-Parenting Tips


Co-parenting with your ex requires communicating and cooperating. This benefits both you and your ex, and, more importantly, makes the children feel safe and loved. Even if you have residual negative feelings toward your ex, experts recommend that you do whatever it takes to make things work for the sake of the kids. Transitioning to the demands of a new school year can add pressure on everyone, but it can work.  Here are some ideas to get the school year started on the right foot and supporting kids throughout the year:

1-    Be straightforward.  Don’t try to hurt the other parent by excluding them from school preparation, activities, or communications. Understand the importance of keeping both parents involved in and supportive of the education process.

2-    Figure out who’s buying what.  Both parents may wish to contribute to the school start-up, but there’s no reason to turn it into a competition. If you know your child really wants a particular sweatshirt, discuss who will be getting it so there’s no problem with duplicates showing up in the new school loot.

3-    Figure things out in advance.  Avoid last minute conflicts about expectations for who’s picking up who from where, who’s paying for what, how extra-curricular activities might impact time-sharing, or plans to deal with emergencies. Create contingency plans for a variety of developments, with the impact on the kids your main concern.

4-    Attend conferences with teachers together if possible.  True, you have separate lives, but you do share the kids, and teachers could benefit by knowing that you’re both there to support the kids. If school issues arise, it will be helpful for teachers to know you’re a team as far as the kids are concerned.

5-    Show up at school functions.  You don’t have to sit by your ex at soccer games or choir concerts, but it’s essential to attend to demonstrate your support, and to be amiable at all school events.

6-    Create a shared calendar.  Apps like Google Calendar or Cozi ensure that you both know of upcoming activities involving the kids, from school events to extracurricular events and medical appointments.  And calendar sharing can reduce your face time with your ex, all the while allowing information to flow freely.

7-    In addition to schedules and appointments, share your experience with your children’s health, attitude, and overall well-being.  It’s important for kids to know that both parents are on TEAM KID, and that’s hard to accomplish if one parent is in the dark about how the child is feeling.

You Can Do It 

While every divorce is different and has its own challenges, studies repeatedly show that kids do better when their parents cooperate and work together for the benefit of the kids.  And it can be done.  For all of your divorce and family law needs, contact the experienced and knowledgeable family law attorneys at Courtney & Mills in Springfield.



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