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Co-parenting when one parent decides to move

After a divorce, Minnesota parents may still struggle through conflicts with the other parent. One source of these conflicts can be when one parent moves. Even if the move is only half an hour to an hour away, it can cause serious disruptions to the schedule of sharing custody or visitation. Parents must be careful in these situations so that they continue to put their children's needs first instead of their own.

One of the major reasons that a parent may move is to be closer to a new partner. However, there could be friction between the new partner and the other parent. The parent who has not moved may take a firm stand about keeping the children and their activities closer to their original home. The problem with this stance is that the people who suffer most as a result might be the children.

Parents might consider turning to mediation to settle their difficulties. Mediation may offer a route to compromise in a supportive environment. Parents may want to discuss how to handle transportation responsibilities and even the possibility that the child might choose to live with the parent who is moving. Above all, parents must set aside the idea of winning or losing and put the best interests of the child first.

It may be possible to do some of this work during the divorce process. This is where parents can begin to practice good conflict resolution skills when it comes to co-parenting, but they might also think about how they want to structure their parenting agreement. For example, they might consider how they would handle situations such as one parent moving. They might also include a provision that a mediator should be consulted in the event of a conflict that they cannot resolve.

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