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If You Want a Painless Co-Parenting Relationship, Start by Being KIND


Even if you have seen other divorced people succeed at co-parenting, it is even harder than it looks, especially in the beginning and especially during the holidays.  Whether your co-parenting relationship eventually settles into a tolerable new normal or whether you and your ex-spouse continue to antagonize each other until your children reach adulthood, or even longer, depends on several factors.  It depends in part on your attitude and your actions.  You have the right to feel angry and hurt and to talk about your feelings with your friends and your adult family members.  Meanwhile, it is your responsibility to behave in a mature manner toward your ex and in the presence of your children; co-parenting with a difficult ex is a lot like working with a difficult co-worker.  You have to do it for the sake of your children or your career, and to achieve this, you look at the big picture and don’t let the troll under the bridge (your ex or your co-worker, respectively) break your concentration.  It also depends on your legally binding parenting plan.  A Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you draft a parenting plan that is conducive to amicable co-parenting, but changing your attitude toward your co-parent depends on you.

How to Be KIND to the Ex-Spouse Who Broke Your Heart

If you can detach emotionally from your ex-spouse’s efforts to push your buttons, like you would with an annoying co-worker, you are halfway there, but co-parenting is much harder, because you can’t detach emotionally from your children.  Instead, respond to communications from your ex-spouse in much the way that SIRI would respond to them; be KIND without making yourself emotionally vulnerable.  What does it mean to be KIND, though?

KIND is an acronym for kid-centered, informative, nice, and direct.  Don’t get into your ex’s business about other stuff, and just focus your conversations on co-parenting.  Provide your spouse with complete and accurate information about matters relevant to co-parenting.  Adopt a professional tone with your ex and don’t be sarcastic or hostile.

An Airtight Parenting Plan Helps, Too

In some ways, the success of your co-parenting relationship rests on your court-ordered parenting plan.  Ambiguities and loopholes in your parenting plan leave the door open for drama and, in the worst cases, more litigation.  As much as you can’t wait to be legally single again, it is in your interest and in your children’s interest for you to spend as much time as it takes working out every last detail of your parenting plan.  If you think it’s tough to sit in mediation and argue about what your children will do on Black Friday in odd-numbered years, imagine getting an irate phone call from your ex while you are at Sawgrass Mills, demanding that you drive your kids to your ex’s mother’s house immediately so that they can decorate the Christmas tree.

Contact Schwartz | White About Painless Co-Parenting

A South Florida family law attorney can help you work out all of the details of your parenting plan so that you and your ex-spouse can prevent future co-parenting conflicts.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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