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Overcoming the challenges of co-parenting with your ex

Co-parenting with your ex during or after a divorce is challenging even under the best of circumstances. Even if you and your ex have a cordial and respectful relationship, you're not going to agree on all parenting decisions. You probably didn't even when you were happily married. When you factor two different homes, new boyfriends or girlfriends, new financial challenges and some residual anger or resentment into the mix, those differences can become more significant.

So how do you do your best to co-parent with an ex in a way that keeps the best interests of your kids at the forefront without losing your sanity? It's important to cut yourself some slack. No one's a perfect parent, and you're entering an entirely new stage of parenting. Sometimes you just have to be satisfied with doing the best you can. Your kids will likely realize that you are.

"Surrender" is an important word to remember in many situations. Choose your battles with your ex. Don't make every parenting disagreement a fight. If you give in on the little things, you may be more likely to get what you want without a battle about something you feel strongly about.

Don't try to be everything to your kids. It's normal to feel like a single parent sometimes, even if you and your ex share custody. However, your kids likely counted on you for different things when you were together, so it's OK for them to continue to do that.

Sometimes learning to co-parent with an ex can be exhausting and even infuriating. You simply have to vent your feelings. However, it's essential not to do that to or around the kids. Make sure that you have a support system of family, friends and perhaps a therapist. If you and your ex do argue, choose a time and place where the kids won't overhear you.

Of course, if your ex is doing something that is endangering your children's well-being, it's essential to speak out and intervene. In some cases, this can require legal action like a change in custody or even a protective order. Your attorney can provide advice and guidance.

Source: Huffington Post, "5 Tips To Help You Coparent AND Keep Your Sanity," Chelli Pumphrey, April 04, 2016

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