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How to co-parent after a divorce

Once the divorce is final for parents in Ohio, they still face a big hurdle, and that is co-parenting effectively. Although there is a custody schedule in place, parents should try to be flexible if one has a fun activity planned during the other parent's time. The focus should be on making sure that the child is happy.

Consistency is also important. Parents should try to have similar rules between their households since this helps children feel more secure. Parents should also try to support the child's relationship with the other parent and should not say negative things about one another when the child is within earshot. One difficult part of divorce is that one parent often misses out on important moments with their children. Each parent can help the other share in this with a photo or a text.

All of this requires communication, and this can be one of the hardest parts of co-parenting. Parents should not give in to the temptation to pass messages back and forth using their children. However, if communicating in person is difficult, they can use email or text. There are also online tools designed to help in these situations. If parents are still struggling, they might want to consider family therapy or taking a co-parenting class.

Parents may share custody of their children or one may have custody while the other has visitation rights. Parenting time may vary depending on the parents' schedules, the children's schedules, the age of the child and other factors. For example, older children may want some say in designing the custody schedule. If parents can negotiate a child custody agreement instead of going to court, this could lay the framework for a healthy co-parenting relationship.

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