Imagine that you and your spouse are happily married for many years, and during that time the two of you have a daughter. You make great parents, and for years your family unit grows together. But one day, you and your spouse approach a metaphorical hurdle that you just can’t get over. The two of you go to counseling and you try to talk it out — but nothing works. Both of you realize that divorce is the only solution to your problem.

After you agree to file paperwork on the divorce, both you and your spouse immediately think of your daughter. How is she going to handle this jarring change? What will we do as divorced parents? How will we make this new relationship work not only for us, but more importantly for our daughter?

Obviously every case will be a little different, but it behooves any divorcing couple with children to implement a cooperative and amicable relationship going forward. You don’t have to be best friends. In fact, you don’t even necessarily need to like your ex. But you do need to respect him or her, and you do need to treat them fairly whether they are in the room with you or 100 miles away.

That means no making sniping comments to your child about your ex when he or she isn’t around. Also, remember that you are still a team even though you are no longer married. You are co-parents now, and you have to act responsibly so that you, your ex and your child can move past the divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, “9 Ways to Co-Parent Like a Grown-Up,” Emma Bathie, March 28, 2014