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5 tips to follow when you start co-parenting

You do not stop being a parent when you stop being married. If anything, you may become even more conscious of your parental role because the situation gets more complicated when you do not live together.

Your goal should always be to make things go as smoothly for your children as possible. To do so, keep these five tips in mind:

  1. Start a "professional" relationship with your ex. Think of each other as co-workers. You do not have to like each other, but you need to be civil, reliable and professional as you work toward a common goal.
  2. Have a plan. Sit down with your co-parent and talk about what you want your parenting plan to look like and what is important to you. Agree that you will both stick to the plan for the children's sake.
  3. Focus on communication. It is the key to this new relationship. Do not get bogged down with the drama. Swallow your feelings and emotions and find ways to communicate clearly and effectively.
  4. Remember that you can't force your ex-spouse to parent exactly like you do. You can have a strict bedtime at your house, but your ex may let the kids stay up later. You can feed them healthy meals, and your ex may give them fast food. Learn how to let go of the little things.
  5. Never insult your ex where the children can hear it. Even if you feel angry, do not negatively impact their relationship in any way. Work it out between the two of you.

As you start to set up a parenting plan, make sure you know all of your legal rights.  Contact the Quinn Law Firm's Family Law department at 814-833-2222 to learn more. 

Source: Today's Parent, 11 successful co-parenting commandments, Dec. 29, 2014

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