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Tips for coparenting after divorce

After parents in New York get a divorce, they usually also have to coparent together. This can require improving some skills, such as communication, and making sure that they focus on the best interests of the child.

There are online tools that can facilitate communication. Offline, a calendar in the home of each parent helps children and their parents keep track of the custody and visitation schedule. Parents should also make an effort to enforce consistent expectations between households. This is usually less complicated than trying to agree on specific rules since this is often an area of conflict between parents.

Parents should avoid using their children to communicate with one another or any other actions that put them in the middle. It can be hard for parents to remember that despite their conflicts with one another, their children view both of them differently. Unless there is abuse or other situations that endanger the children, parents should encourage the child to have a relationship with and talk about the other parent. They should be honest in an age-appropriate way about the reasons for the divorce without assigning blame. They should only introduce new partners after the relationship is solid, and stepparents should avoid trying to step into a parental role. Parents who must see each other at children's events after the divorce should avoid public conflict.

Parents may want to try to negotiate their child custody and visitation agreement without going to court even if they are experiencing high conflict. One potential problem with going to litigation is that one parent could end up even unhappier with the schedule than they were with the one originally offered during negotiation. There are a number of different configurations parents can follow for custody and visitation. For example, parents often share legal custody without sharing physical custody.

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