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Best practices for co-parenting after a divorce

Texas parents who are getting a divorce may be concerned about its effects on their children. There are several things they can do to help their children adjust. Children need reassurance that they did not cause the divorce.

Children also need to feel free to love both parents without judgmental comments from either one. Each parent should provide a neutral atmosphere to hear complaints about the other parent without making it about their own issues with the ex-spouse. It can be helpful for children if their parents are on the same page regarding household rules.

Above all, children should never be made to feel that they must choose between their parents. A best-case scenario is one in which parents are able to spend holidays together. This prevents children from having to eat two different holiday meals in separate locations. However, even if this is not possible, parents should at least try to come together for occasions such as birthdays or other events. The child will have many occasions throughout life when having two separate functions to accommodate each parent is not possible, such as graduation or getting married. Therefore, it is best if parents can set aside their anger at one another and get along in these situations.

A healthy co-parenting situation may begin during the divorce process itself. If parents can focus on the best interests of the child, they might be able to reach an agreement outside of court. Joint custody is becoming more common although even if one parent has sole custody, the other parent may have a generous visitation schedule. However, if parents are unable to reach an agreement and must go to litigation, they can still build a functional co-parenting relationship afterwards as long as there are no concerns about the child's safety with either parent.

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