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Remember to focus on the kids when co-parenting

Figuring out the best way to raise children after divorce can be a difficult decision for any New Mexico parent. For divorced couples who believe it is important for their children to spend adequate time with both parents, they may opt for a co-parenting route.

Co-parenting can be difficult, especially if ex-spouses have feelings of resentment toward each other. However, divorced parents must remember to focus on the children, and not focus on what their ex is doing or spending their money on. It is also important for divorced spouses to not make negative assumptions about their ex. If a parents suspect their ex-spouse will be late picking up the kids or will be late making child support payments - try and think about something else to avoid getting upset.

When the children are present, parents should make an effort to not talk negatively about their ex-spouse. The kids may overhear the conversations, which may create an even more stressful environment. If venting is needed, parents are better off sending a text message to a friend, speaking with a therapist or going somewhere private to speak with someone about it.

When ex-spouses do break promises to their kids - like failing to pick up their kids after soccer practice - the other parent should make an effort to reassure the kids that the reason mom or dad didn't pick them up isn't because they are not loved. If one parent repeatedly breaks promises to their children, the relationship between the child and that parent may suffer.

Whether one spouse has primary child custody, or parents have joint custody, co-parenting done correctly can be very rewarding to both the parents and the child. As children grow older, child support payments and child custody agreements may need some adjusting, depending on each unique situation. In any case, the best interests of the child should always come first, and sour feelings toward ex-spouses should never be visible to the child.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Co-Parenting Cheat Sheet," Honoree Corder, June 3, 2014

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