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The moment you decide to divorce is the moment you should turn your attention to your children. There are a variety of steps you can take, along with the other parent, to help your children through this difficult time.

When it comes to co-parenting, you and your ex-spouse may not agree on everything. This is why it’s so important to have a parenting agreement in place. You can rely on this to guide you, especially when there are disagreements.

Here are five co-parenting tips you can rely on from day one:

  • It’s not all about you: It’s easy to focus on doing what’s best for you, but it’s your children who should come first. Also, don’t hesitate to put yourself in the other parent’s shoes, as they’re still a big part of your children’s lives.
  • Keep an open mind with schedules: You should follow your parenting agreement as closely as possible, but there are times when you’ll have to make changes. Maybe your ex-spouse needs to cancel a scheduled visit because they’ll be out of town for work. It’s okay to work with them to make the necessary changes.
  • Don’t fight about everything: Even after your divorce is finalized, you may still get the urge to argue with your ex-spouse. When co-parenting, there are times when you have to stick to your guns. There are also times when it’s okay to let something slide, to avoid an argument.
  • Understand the importance of communication: This doesn’t mean you have to speak with your ex every day of the week. It also doesn’t mean you have to discuss your personal life. Instead, it’s all about communicating when necessary in regard to parenting-related details.
  • Don’t get in the way: When your children are with their other parent, keep your distance and respect their time together. Getting in the way, such as by calling or texting, doesn’t do anyone any good.

It’s not always easy to follow these co-parenting tips, especially when this way of living is new to you. However, if you’re dedicated to doing your best, you’re likely to find yourself making the right decisions.

If your ex-spouse is doing their best to make life miserable, such as by ignoring the parenting agreement, you shouldn’t hesitate to take the necessary steps to protect your legal rights.