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Making co-parenting work following a divorce

A divorce in Kansas can involve multiple steps, from dividing marital assets to determining if spousal support is necessary. If a marriage resulted in children, another major issue is co-parenting arrangements. Making an honest effort to make co-parenting work could minimize the legal and emotional challenges that sometimes complicate matters.

Parents are often advised to put the best interests of the child first when working out child custody arrangements. Barring circumstances where a child is in physical danger, alienating one parent often does more harm than good. With household rules, it can be helpful to establish general guidelines everyone should follow (e.g., be respectful and patient) to maintain consistency. Children may also benefit from having a calendar in both households that clearly references agreed upon arrangements with holidays, vacations and special occasions to avoid awkward and potentially contentious situations with scheduling.

Even though it may not always be easy, children are more likely to accept co-parenting arrangements if they are allowed to freely talk about experiences they've had while with the other parent, such as going on a weekend trip. With communication, it's sometimes better to limit confirmations about arrangements and schedules to emails and text messages to avoid potentially unpleasant verbal exchanges. Being honest with children may further minimize possible issues, such as having false hope of a reconciliation. Older children might appreciate having a better idea of the main reasons for the divorce.

Circumstances such as one or both former spouses remarrying or relocating could result in problems with existing custody arrangements. A lawyer may be able to negotiate an appropriate child custody modification in situations like this. An attorney can also address issues involving clear violations of custody arrangements or problems with required payments for child support.

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