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How to co-parent effectively after a divorce

Estranged California parents need to prioritize the best interests of their children after a divorce. This means understanding that the other parent is important to the child despite the differences between the parents. Parents should allow their children to talk about their life with the other parent and avoid putting the child in the middle.

They should aim for their children to have consistent expectations between households even if they have different parenting styles. Plans around visitation, including vacations and holidays, should be on calendars at both parents' homes so children are able to see them easily. Parents may want to avoid phone or in-person communication and instead use online tools, text or emails to talk about schedules. This may cut down on conflict.

Parents should try to be honest with their children about the reasons for the divorce, but the explanation should be age-appropriate and should not place blame. Children should be reassured the divorce is not their fault. They should be discouraged from the idea that their parents might reconcile, and if parents do, they should not tell their children until all issues are resolved. New partners should only be introduced to children when the relationship is serious, and parents and the new partners should cooperate to attend the child's events without issues.

Dealing with child custody and visitation issues in a divorce can be hard whether parents are negotiating an agreement with the assistance of their respective attorneys or in court. However, even if they have been through a contentious custody battle, they should try to avoid letting that affect their ability to co-parent. Over time, they may need to make a modification of the custody order, but they should try to resolve minor parenting issues without going back to court.

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