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Learning to co-parent after divorce takes patience

If you are newly divorced and struggling to co-parent your children with your ex-spouse, it's likely you have experienced some frustration. While that is a natural part of the process, the following tips can make your experience a little smoother.

-- Realize that you and your ex are going to have to cooperate for the best interests of the children to be served. You may need to bite your tongue sometimes and give in when you would prefer not to, but so will your ex.

-- Keep negative remarks about your children's other parent out of earshot of the kids. Vent to your best friend or your therapist, but leave the kids out of it.

-- Devise ways that you and your ex can communicate effectively about the kids. Sometimes this may involve non-verbal contact through emails and texts. Keep it short, civil and focused on the issue at hand. Don't get sidetracked into old arguments.

-- Present a united front to your children. Divide and conquer is a game kids learn early, and parents who fall for that have a rough road ahead.

-- Be willing to give a little to get a little. There will be times when you need to swap weekends too, so be open to compromise.

-- Keep the kids' routine as consistent as possible. Each household will have minor variations on rules, but one home shouldn't be a free-for-all and the other run like a prison.

-- Accept that the divorce did not eliminate your ex permanently from your life. Learn how to cope with seeing him or her at school events, practices, games and other events in the kids' lives.

If you reach a snag is your custody agreement, ask your family law attorney if filing a modification to your custody plan is a viable option.

Source: SheKnows, "Tricky issues with co-parenting after divorce," Sherri Kuhn, accessed Feb. 10, 2017

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