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Are you ready for the realities of co-parenting?

Divorce is a way for people to move on and find happiness again when a marriage fails. Unfortunately, for many couples, divorce is not an ending so much as a change in the terms of the relationship. For couples who share children, the reality of divorce is much more complex than for divorcing couples without kids.

Specifically, there is no clean break possible, as the New Jersey courts are almost certain to arrange shared custody. The courts favor shared custody arrangements because research makes it clear they're usually what's best for kids. These arrangements, often called co-parenting situations, require that you and your ex find a way to work together after your divorce.

It will be necessary can change many considerations, including how you and your ex relate to one another during the divorce itself.

Minimizing conflict now will benefit everyone later

Divorce often has a way of turning messy. People behave in manners that are uncharacteristic of their typical natures. Anger and pain can lead people to do strange and aggressive things. Rather than indulging your lowest impulses, you and your ex should focus more on the long-term success of your divorce.

That means minimizing the impact on your kids and finding a way to work together in the future. Avoiding overt hostilities and fighting during the divorce shields your kids from the emotional fallout of a contentious battle in court. It also makes it easier for you and your ex to move on after the end of divorce proceedings.

A little bit of kindness and cooperation during the divorce can help provide a healthier foundation for your co-parenting relationship in the future.

Work together as parents and support one another

If you and your ex are constantly trying to outmaneuver or trick one another using the details of your custody arrangement or divorce, conflict is almost inevitable. Not only will you struggle against one another, but you will also struggle to cope with your children's emotions and actions.

Your kids will sense the instability between parents and could very well use that as a means of manipulating each parent individually to get what they want. Parenting consistently between households makes things easier on everyone involved. If the expectations are clear and standardized between houses, there will be less conflict between parents. There will also be less reason for there to be conflict between the children.

Embracing the fact that you will still be part of your ex's life isn't necessarily fun, but it is the best thing for you and your family. Trying to develop a healthy attitude about co-parenting and the responsibilities it brings can help your whole family process the divorce and move on to a healthier future.

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