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Co-parenting after divorce: How to keep stress to a minimum

If you're one of many Salem parents who is getting divorced in 2019, you may relate to those who are greatly concerned about their future parenting relationships. Co-parenting after divorce can be quite stressful, especially if you and your spouse tend to disagree on child-related matters. In fact, that issue might have been a causal factor that led to your divorce.

You've decided you no longer want to be married to your spouse; however, the two of you will always be connected because you have children together. There are several tips to keep in mind that can help you focus on your children's best interests and avoid stressful situations with your ex.

Work as a team

While your marriage didn't work out as you'd hoped, that doesn't necessarily mean that you and your ex cannot successfully co-parent together. A key factor to success lies in how you view your relationship. Parents who see themselves as a well-functioning team encounter less co-parenting challenges and stress after divorce.

Children thrive on structure and routine

If you and your ex have a my-way-or-the-highway attitude, your kids are the ones who will likely suffer negative consequences from your ongoing competitiveness. Studies show that when divorced parents work together to maintain a sense of normalcy in their children's lives, all involved benefit from their efforts. There will definitely be lifestyle changes for your kids, but you and your ex can agree to preserve the structure and routine to which they were accustomed during your marriage.

Divorce is an adult matter

Parents who use their children as messengers or otherwise involve them in divorce or parenting-related issues set their children up for emotional problems. Your children might get confused about parental loyalty if they think you're trying to make them choose sides. On the contrary, if they witness both parents handling issues in a mature, respectful manner, they receive problem-solving and coping skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

If your team plan isn't working

No one is perfect. All parents disagree from time to time, even those whose marriages remain intact. Try not to be too hard on yourself or expect that you will never encounter challenges when co-parenting after divorce. If a problem arises, especially with regard to legal issues, know where to seek support and don't be afraid to do so.

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