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5 tips for co-parenting as well as possible

You're not broken up about your divorce; instead, you're excited about what the future holds. You want to focus on your child and yourself.

At the same time, you know that co-parenting is a reality. That child belongs to your ex, as well. How can the two of you co-parent successfully for years to come?

1. Keep adult issues away from the kid.

You and your ex can talk about schedules, child support and everything else. Let your child simply enjoy being a child.

2. Tell your child where you stand.

For kids, divorce can be chaotic, confusing and depressing. Always tell your child that you both love him or her and that your parental relationship will not change.

3. Be with your child.

Yes, the divorce process may take up a lot of time. You still need to make time for your child. Even after the split is officially in the books, keep devoting time to your child. Give of yourself, both emotionally and physically.

4. Respect each other.

You and your spouse need to show mutual respect, even when you are angry and don't feel like being respectful. This helps form the child's opinions about you and attitude toward you. The child will treat you both the way you treat each other.

5. Know that you both have a place and a role.

Don't try to edge your spouse out or take over as the sole parent. It can be hard, but respect each other's roles and focus on giving the child a stable, happy life.

Keep these five points in mind as you work through the legal side of the divorce process, especially when considering parenting plans and child custody rights.

Source: Psychology Today, "What Makes for Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce?," Edward Kruk, accessed Aug. 18, 2017

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