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All Press Releases for January 11, 2014 »
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Establishing a co-parenting relationship with your ex is possible

When parents put aside personal feelings and decided to work together, co-parenting relationships can be healthy and productive for divorced couples.
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    January 11, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Courts in San Diego and throughout the state of California have shifted from assigning custody of children in a divorce to one parent, to encouraging parents to work together as co-parents. The courts seem to have put the focus on what is in the best interest of the child, rather than on how co-parenting will affect you and your ex. This means that, unless you can provide proof as to why you should be given sole legal and physical custody, you and your ex-spouse will be given joint custody.

Establishing a co-parenting relationship with your ex is far from easy as it is common for there to still be a mixture of feelings towards that person like resentment, frustration, hurt, humiliation and anger. According to Psych Central, a study released in 2012 shows that when parents clashed over child custody issues, it greatly impacted their impression of their ex's parenting ability. When parents put aside personal feelings and decided to work together, the co-parenting relationship improved.

Establishing a new relationship

In order to create an effective co-parenting relationship with your ex, you will need to be able to put aside those negative feelings you may have. Help recommends treating the situation as if you are dealing with a business partner. This will help remove the emotions and keep the focus of the relationship on raising your children as a team. Taking such an approach may require some time but it can be done.

It is important to keep in mind that while a divorce has permanently severed the romantic relationship between you and your ex, you will always be connected because of your children. As a result of this, there will be occasions where you and your ex will be in each other's presence such as weddings, births of grandchildren, graduations and other special events. By transforming the relationship into one that is solely focused on making sure the children have both parents in their lives, you can strengthen your relationship with your children and prevent unnecessary conflict with your ex-spouse.

Parenting plans

An essential tool to co-parenting is the creation and implementation of a parenting plan. The parenting plan should be designed with the age of the child in mind and make provisions for the child's parenting as they grow older. Parenting plans generally consist of the following:
- Visitation schedule with each parent, including holidays and vacations.
- Designation of which decisions each parent will make.
- House rules that should be followed by both parents such as bedtime, homework and chores.
- A method for resolving parenting conflicts.
- Extra-curricular activities for the child.
- A clear plan of which parent will pay for medical care, school supplies, emergencies and programs like karate, camp and soccer.

Setting up a parenting plan allows you and your ex to put down in writing every aspect associated with raising your children and provides a clear definition of your parental role in their lives. For help in drafting a parenting plan, you should meet with an experienced attorney who can assist you with your questions and concerns.

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