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Divorce is hard, and parenting after divorce presents a challenge. Like other Missouri parents, you may wonder how you can make this process better and less stressful for everyone, especially your children. The needs and interests of your children are the priority during a divorce, and some parents find they are better able to protect their kids through a co-parenting relationship.

Co-parenting is not for the weak or for the people who are afraid of a little hard work. It’s not easy to work closely with the person you used to be married to, especially if you do not like him or her. The good news is that it is possible to co-parent well, even if you don’t necessarily get along.

Making it work — together

No matter how you feel about your ex-spouse, the reality is that you two have children together. This will bind you together for the rest of your lives, and it is beneficial for your children to learn how to work in conjunction to provide them with continuity of lifestyle and stability. One essential component of making any co-parenting arrangement work well is communication.

It is impossible to co-parent without talking with each other. You don’t have to like a person in order to talk with him or her, but you do have to commit to talking about the things that are important to your children. This includes discipline problems, health care needs, schoolwork and general life needs. 

The right foundation

It is difficult to co-parent when you do not have a good parenting plan in place. A thoughtful and sustainable custody schedule will be an important part of parenting well together. Your schedule should provide your kids the opportunity to have a strong relationship with both of you, and you should feel like you have a strong and active role in their lives. Co-parenting is significantly easier when you have an easy-to-follow and fair custody schedule.

Your future as a parent

During your divorce, there is a lot on the line. You may even feel like your relationship with your kids and your parental rights are at stake. This can be an overwhelming feeling, but one thing you can do is to pursue a meaningful co-parenting relationship. Before you agree to anything, you may want to speak with an experienced attorney regarding your objectives.