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4 ways co-parenting helps your children

You're afraid that co-parenting is going to be hard for you. It means staying in touch with your ex. It means never quite putting that relationship in the past, even after the divorce.

That may be true, but courts often work toward joint custody and co-parenting. This isn't just done to respect the rights of the parents. It's also done because it helps the kids. Below are four ways it can be beneficial:

  1. Children don't lose their consistency. If you and your ex have a parenting plan addressing things like rules and schedules, the kids know what to expect. This makes life easier and more enjoyable.
  2. Your kids will feel more confident and secure. They'll never doubt that you both care about them, even though you're no longer married.
  3. Your kids will watch and learn from you. It may be tough to deal with your ex, but you should know that your kids are learning about peaceful problem solving, cooperation, communication and much more.
  4. Your children can actually be healthier. Experts note that kids whose parents are involved and work together, even after a marital split, have lower rates of depression, ADHD and anxiety.

Remember, effective co-parenting is about more than just splitting up obligations. It's about really talking to one another and making joint decisions that improve the children's lives. It's about putting them first.

To do this, you need more than a basic child custody plan. You need to know about your legal rights, of course, but you also have to consider ways in which you and your ex can set up an official parenting plan to use moving forward.

Source: Help Guide, "Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Parents," Jocelyn Block and Melinda Smith, accessed Oct. 20, 2017

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