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Parenting after divorce and avoiding common mistakes

Even when married couples agree that it is best for them to end their union, this does not mean the couple will not face challenges or difficult decisions during dissolution or post-divorce. This is especially true when the couple has a child. Although disagreements might occur, it is important that New Mexico parents understand how to parent after divorce and avoid common mistakes or pitfalls.

First, divorced parents should not fight over belongings such as their child's clothes and toys. While a parent might be more conscious about the items they buy for their child post-divorce, it should be expected that a child might want to bring a toy to the other parent's house or pack some of their clothes to bring to the other parent's house. While a parent cannot always control this, it is best to address this in a civil manner.

This also leads to another common mistake, which is not having a predictable custody arrangement. No matter what the age of the child is, living in two households is very overwhelming. Not having a predictable schedule can add more stress and disruption to the child's life. Therefore, even if parents seek a more flexible arrangement, it is important to have a set schedule so a routine can be established.

In addition, it is important that divorce parents do not talk poorly about the other parent in general. Because a child could overhear something in another room or from someone else, it is important to avoid any negative talk about an ex-spouse in situations where a child could hear or find out. And if a parent needs emotional support or just needs to vent, it is important to do it carefully and away from the child.

Lastly, divorced parents should not make their child the go between them. And while this could happen slowly, unintentionally and subtly over time, parents should avoid having their child relay a message for them to the other parent. And while this is not the case with every message a child might need to give the other parent, parents should use discretion when making their child the messenger.

Post-divorce life can be difficult for some parents, resulting in unfortunate disputes. Because of this, parents should understand how they could resolve these issues properly and timely, so they can keep the best interests of the child in mind.

Source: Huffington Post, "Survive Parenting After Divorce: Don't Make These 5 Common Mistakes!" Natasha Daniels, Dec. 15, 2015

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