Dealing with the challenges of co-parenting after divorce

For anyone in Florida ending a marriage that produced children, the process isn't over once a divorce becomes final. Co-parenting arrangements will need to be made between the parties who play a role in raising a child. Legally, co-parents can be parents or legal guardians responsible for a child's care. Oftentimes, these parties are the two individuals who divorced. While every situation is different, there are some ways to make the process smoother for everyone involved.

It's generally agreed that child custody arrangements should be focused on the best interests of the child. It can be tempting for people to attempt to shelter their children from their exes if they feel they are not responsible or lacking in parental skills. However, doing so sometimes causes a child to mistakenly idolize the estranged parent. Co-parenting can be less challenging if plans are made in advance to eliminate confusion or sources of contention. Children also tend to benefit from similar household rules regardless of which parent they are staying with at the moment to maintain consistency.

If there is some lingering tension between divorced parties, communication via the internet may minimize issues that might quickly escalate with phone calls or in-person interactions. Some children benefit from being sheltered from divorced parents' new relationships until something permanent develops while older children may appreciate an honest explanation of what contributed to the divorce. Children may also benefit from efforts to minimize false hopes that their parents could get back together. If stepparents are involved, referring to them as "assistant parents" may make adjustment easier for children.

In some instances, child custody disputes may arise if there are new marriages, ongoing hostilities or attempts to prevent scheduled visitations. If this is the case, a lawyer may make an effort to resolve any problems affecting custody arrangements before getting the court involved. An attorney can also take appropriate steps if an ex-spouse fails to adhere to custody guidelines that were previously accepted by both parties.

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