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After divorce, moving towards co-parenting

Maryland parents planning for a post-divorce future may be thinking about how best to accomplish their goals for successful co-parenting. While the two parents may no longer be interested in a romantic relationship with one another, their commitment to their children is in no way lessened by their decision to divorce. This means keeping some key guidelines in mind to help provide a supportive environment for the children in both parents' homes.

While the divorce may cause some hard feelings between the parents, it is important not to transfer those concerns to the children. Absent a situation of neglect or abuse, children are strongly bonded to both of their parents. It is the responsibility of each parent to encourage their children to interact and communicate with the other parent. In addition, it is important to be honest with the kids about the end of the marriage while sparing them painful and intimate details. Children should not be encouraged to take sides in the divorce between their parents, and they should be reassured that they did nothing to cause the marriage to end.

Planning and communication are key to a successful co-parenting relationship. Making plans long in advance for custody changes, vacations and holidays can help prevent frustration and disappointment. Maintaining a physical and online calendar is often key to sharing and tracking dates and making sure that nothing falls by the wayside. In addition, using email communication can be important for documenting plans in a searchable manner.

When parents consider divorce, they may remain in a bad marriage for far too long in order to protect their children. A family law attorney may help a divorcing parent get on the right track toward successful co-parenting by advocating for a child custody and visitation plan that meets the needs of the children and works for both parents.

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