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Five tips for co-parenting successfully after a Tennessee divorce


Through shared parenting plans, people may set their differences aside and work cooperatively to raise and care for their children after a divorce.

Recognizing it is generally beneficial for children to have a relationship with both of their parents, Tennessee has moved away from the traditional joint or sole custody assignments. Instead, people are encouraged to come up with shared parenting plans, and to continue working together to raise their kids. After the breakdown of a relationship, however, this may be a challenge for parents. Though, there are things people can do to co-parent successfully after a divorce.

Photo of Jeffrey H. Jones

Be respectful

Especially immediately following the end of a marriage, it is common for people to harbor feelings of anger or hurt toward their exes. However, being disrespectful toward a co-parent may send the wrong message to their children about their behavioral expectations for them. Furthermore, badmouthing kids’ other parents in front of them may make them feel like they should take a side, which could affect one or both of their parent-child relationships. Thus, it may be helpful for parents to refrain from speaking negatively about their children’s other parents or disrespecting them to or in front of their children.

Emphasize communication

From school, to their extra-curricular activities, to just general growing pains, kids often have a lot going on in their lives. Just as they would if they were still together, it may be a good idea for co-parents to discuss these things with each other. This may help ensure both parents are on the same page if they are dealing with issues. Additionally, it makes certain they are aware of their kids’ important events so they can stay involved.

Establish uniform rules

Although they often try to fight it, having routine and structure is something children need in their lives. To help provide them with such consistency, co-parents are advised to implement the same rules at both of their homes. This may include setting a bed time, assigning chores and establishing the expectations for homework.

Research shows kids benefit when their parents are united, Psychology Today reports. Having the same rules helps ensure children have the structure necessary to flourish. It also eliminates some of kids’ ability to play their parents against each other when they are testing their boundaries.

Consider the variables

When creating a shared parenting agreement in Tennessee, people must plan their parenting time, responsibilities and financial obligations. In the course of their children’s upbringing, however, there may be several other issues that arise and factors that must be addressed. Therefore, it is suggested that people consider variables, such as their child’s health care, education or sports participation, as well as extended family involvement. This may help prevent some disputes between co-parents, which can be harmful for children.

Prepare for a challenge

Even if they agree to set their differences aside, some bumps in the road are likely to occur for co-parents. Should an issue arise, people are advised not to get discouraged or lose focus. Rather, it is recommended that they take emotion out of the equation. Parents in such situations must recognize that conceding on some issues and making accommodations is not a matter of winning or losing. Instead, it may be doing what is in the best interests of their children.

Ending a marriage is an adult decision, but it may hit the children involved the hardest. Consequently, it may be to the benefit of Tennessee families for parents to settle their divorces efficiently and work cooperatively to raise the children. Therefore, it may be helpful for divorcing parents to seek legal guidance. An attorney may help them work through their issues and develop a shared parenting plan that focuses on their children and their needs.

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