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On child custody, co-parenting, and managing relationships

Let's say that you and your spouse, after many years of happy marriage that yielded two kids, decide it is time for a divorce. The two of you agree to joint custody of the kids, as neither one of you wants the other to go without spending significant time with your kids. It's an important part of their developmental, as well as a crucial factor in your life.

So you establish the parameters of your child custody agreement, and then the two of you start to think about how you transition from a family dynamic to a co-parenting dynamic. What can you do to help your kids during this time? How do you and your ex remain amicable in the upcoming years?

First and foremost, remember that disparaging comments about your ex or otherwise inflammatory actions towards your ex are unacceptable in front of your kids. Not only will it further poison your relationship with your ex, but it will also affect your relationship with your kids. In addition, these aggressive and, let's face it, mean acts could also cost you legally. They could represent a breach of your divorce agreement or your child custody agreement.

However, there are some simple steps to effectively manage your relationship with your children and your ex. Keep open lines of communication with your ex, and remember to negotiate tough situations as opposed to getting angry or upset over them. Also, remember how all of your actions impact your children. Keeping their best interests in mind is the #1 priority.

Source: Huffington Post, "Dr. Phil's Dos and Don'ts For Co-Parenting With Your Ex," Aug. 29, 2014

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