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Co-parenting tips to help you and your children after divorce

Life after divorce is sure to throw many challenges your way. As you navigate the murky post-divorce waters, it's critical to do your part in keeping your children on the right track.

These five co-parenting tips can help you and your children adjust after divorce:

  • Put them first: For the meantime, your children should come first in everything you do. They're going through a challenging time in their life, so they require plenty of attention. Neglecting to provide this attention could cause issues for them now and in the future.
  • Let your ex parent, too: This is what co-parenting is all about. If you keep your ex on the outside looking in, it will only result in additional trouble in the future. If you want what's best for your children, you'll stick to your parenting plan and work with your ex to provide a stable environment in which your children can flourish.
  • Maintain flexibility: Children suffer when parents argue about visitation schedules. Avoid this by keeping an open mind in regard to flexibility. For example, if your ex asks to alter the days they visit their children this month, see if you can accommodate the request.
  • Stay in touch: This doesn't mean you have to communicate with your ex every day, but you should have a system in place that works for the two of you. Regular, clear communication allows you and your ex to better co-parent, which benefits your children.
  • Don't compete: When you compete with your ex, you're only adding tension to an already volatile situation. Be mindful of your side of the street, so to speak. You have no control over your ex, so focus your energy on making the best life possible for you and your children. Competing with your ex is a game you can't win.

You, your ex and your children will all run into challenges when attempting to adjust to life after divorce. The approach you take to co-parenting will go a long way in determining how quickly your children settle into their new normal.

If your ex won't cooperate in regard to co-parenting, it may be time to protect your legal rights in Washington by requesting a parenting plan and/or visitation schedule modification from the court.

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