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Divorced parents taking the co-parenting approach

As a previous post highlighted, there are many challenges that divorced parents in New Mexico will face regarding the care and wellbeing of their children. And while these obstacles can be overcome, custody arrangements often outline the decisions that parents will have to make post-divorce. Although some joint custody arrangements are hard to navigate and work with, some divorce parents are able to approach the shared parenting situation collaboratively and amicably.

When divorced parents take on a co-parenting approach, this process might seem to be easy at first, because they are likely to have a positive outlook on the situation. Nonetheless, it is important to consider ways to continually strengthen the co-parenting relationship.

This often means separating the child's experiences from the parents' experiences. A child will often view the situation differently than either parent does, so it is important to keep it that way. The feelings and thoughts of the child are unique and should not be swayed by either parent. Additionally, because the child has transitioned from a one family relationship to a two family relationship, the child should experience this matter as such -- even if both parents seek to create a single family relationship post-divorce.

Also, parents should work to establish positive communication, even if the divorced couple has been able to accomplish this thus far. Eventually a disagreement will occur, and by working on these mechanisms, parents will be able to address these disputes properly.

Other important tips to consider in a co-parenting relationship is to make requests instead of demands, keep conversations child-related, work as a team when making decisions regarding the child and maintaining a healthy level of mutual respect for one another.

Divorced parents can often make the best out of a bad or emotional situation. However, even those in a co-parenting relationship could encounter obstacles and challenges when it comes to make decisions regarding parenting time, the child's school and the needs of the child. Because of that, it is important that divorce parents understand ways they can resolve these post-divorce issues.

Source: PsychCentral, "Tips for Successful Co-Parenting," Amy Bellows, Sept. 9, 2015

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