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No Longer Partners but Always a Team: Encouragements for Co-Parents

Making it through a divorce in one piece may seem like something to celebrate about but the reality is that there is nothing easy about splitting a family in two. Repeated studies affirm the obvious fact that the greatest victims of divorce are neither one partner nor the other, but the parties involuntarily involved: the kids. If you have kids and have recently split from your spouse, you have a great responsibility to pave a smooth way for your children to transition into the greatest adjustment they may ever experience.

While it may seem as though you and your former spouse have nothing in common, you will always have your children and you are both equally responsible to provide them with the best opportunities, care and love despite your personal differences. While co-parenting may seem like a daunting task, your kids are worth it and no matter how much you think you disagree with your spouse on other things, you will always have your kids in common.

If you and your ex can have a rational discussion and agreement of how you will continue your parenting relationships with your kids, it can significantly reduce the stress and pain felt by your kids and even by you during this time. Here are a few tips to starting out on the journey of co-parenting for new and soon-to-be divorcees:

  • Your kids are more important: Reminding each other of what you're both trying to achieve for your children will almost always overshadow any small fights or fits. Try to get along for the sake of the kids, especially the young ones, and you will never regret the mean words you didn't get to say.
  • Your kids are watching: Your kids are always watching and listening and imitating you, even at a young age. The words you speak to each other or about each other when the kids are present will stick with them. While divorce seemed like the only option left for you to stay sane, it is not a natural transition for your kids.
  • Your kids are not your advocates: Putting your child in the position to defend or choose you over the other spouse will not help anyone. If you and your spouse can agree to keep the kids as neutral as Switzerland can ensure that your child never feels like the rope in a game of tug-a-war.

Many parents that have recently come out of a divorce feel the temptation to "vent" about their ex to their children. This is one of the greatest causes of isolation and pain in children of divorce. What your child needs during this time is the assurance that he or she is loved equally by you both and that you love them enough to try and work together in bringing them up in a safe and loving home. Your marriage has ended, but if you have kids, you will always have a family.

At Cutter & Lax, Attorneys at Law, we are committed to helping military service men and women going through the difficult process of divorce. At our Military divorce firm in California, you will always have an advocate on your side.

Categories: Family Law

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