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How Minnesota exes can achieve co-parenting success in divorce

No matter what exact issues have led you to determine that your marriage is no longer viable, you understand the implications a divorce will have in your children's lives and you want to do whatever you can to ease their transition into a new lifestyle. You and your spouse have decided that the issues you've faced in your relationship are unresolvable. However, you understand you'll have to devise a co-parenting plan as you both take up lives in separate households.

The good news is that even though you may not be able to sustain a marital relationship with your spouse, getting divorced doesn't necessarily mean you won't be able to successfully co-parent together. In fact, many Minnesota spouses who divorce are able to maintain active, healthy relationships as parents in order to provide for their children's needs and help them come to terms with the changes divorce brings to their lives. It's also good news that support is available to help your family cope.

Effective communication is key to amicable co-parenting relationships

If you and your ex argue every time you see each other, it's likely not going to do your kids any good. The following list includes helpful tips to keep lines of communication open and to show your children that you and your co-parent are able to work together for their sake: 

  • Try to think of your co-parenting relationship as a business endeavor. This helps keep emotions in line and lessens the chance of an angry outburst occurring when you meet to discuss child-related issues.
  • Many parents say they keep stress to a minimum by making requests instead of statements when they need something from a co-parent. For instance, instead of saying you need your ex to pick up the kids an hour early, you might want to ask if he or she would be willing and able to do so. 
  • Especially if your co-parent tries to push your emotional buttons, it's a good idea to practice good habits of restraint. Deep breathing and intentional thought distraction may help you resist the urge to fight back.
  • Avoid topics that do not pertain to your children. 
  • Embrace the fact that you and your former spouse will always have a connection by virtue of the fact that you have children together. Acceptance of this idea can greatly help to reduce emotional stress. 

If you implement these ideas, will your co-parenting relationship be stress-free? It isn't likely; however, it is possible to communicate in a civil manner and to address problems as they arise. Even if things get out of hand, as they sometimes do, especially if your ex is the type of person who often incites contention, you can tap into local resources to help you rectify a particular situation. Close friends, ministers, licensed counselors and family law attorneys are all excellent sources of support.

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