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When a marriage dissolves and divorce is on the horizon, there are many things to think about. If you have kids, the first and foremost matter on your mind will probably be your children and how the divorce is going to affect them. Divorce can be very hard on children. They will have to deal with the breaking down of the family structure. They will have to witness their parents being under a great deal of stress. They will have stresses of their own to deal with as a result of their parents breaking up. Therefore, it would be best to make the divorce process go as smoothly as possible for the sake of the kids. One of the ways this can be accomplished is by making co-parenting work.

What is co-parenting exactly? It means remaining actively involved in their children’s lives after the divorce by sharing the parental responsibilities with the ex-wife or ex-husband who is living under a separate roof. This also means the ex-spouses making every effort to have an amicable relationship for the sake of the children. Co-parenting plans are made during the divorce process. They should be clearly stated, they should be practical, and they should consider both households. Making co-parenting work helps children better adjust to the divorce. This benefit to the children has resulted in co-parenting becoming increasingly popular among divorced parents. Some states have even made it mandatory to work out a shared parenting plan during the divorce process.

When working out a co-parenting agreement, it is essential to have clear lines of communication open between the ex-spouses. It is very important to work the agreement out together if the desired effect is making co-parenting work. Other than that, the same rules of parenting in one household apply to households with a co-parenting arrangement. Ex-spouses should respect each other and they should not complain about the other parent to their children. Children should not act as messengers between the parents. If the parents are having issues with each other, they should resolve it and discuss stuff when the children are not present. It is also very important to make sure that each child knows that their voices will be heard by both parents. They should also know that they will always be loved by both parents.

Other issues to work out in a co-parenting agreement include custody and visitation schedules, how to manage the children’s education, financial issues, etc. Making co-parenting work means considering each parent’s strengths, being flexible, but most importantly, it means putting children first.

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