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Key strategies to help avoid co-parenting stress

When you and your ex were married, did you often argue about your children? Perhaps, you have very different parenting styles, which sometimes created a challenge when you needed to negotiate something. For instance, maybe your spouse always wanted to allow your children to eat their supper in the family room while they watched their favorite shows on TV, but you preferred to gather at the table like many Texas families do.

Seemingly minor issues could lead to serious relationship problems if the parents involved have trouble amicably communicating with each other. If these or other issues led to your divorce, you may be at risk for frequent co-parenting conflict. To avoid post-divorce stress, there are several helpful tips to keep in mind.

Co-parent disagreements are not uncommon

You might be setting yourself up for a losing battle if you expect to move on in life after divorce without ever disagreeing with your ex about your children. It's not uncommon for parents disagree, whether they're still married or are divorced. It's not as much about conflict as it is about your reaction to it.

If you fear conflict or become defensive or argumentative every time you and your co-parent don't see eye to eye, it may be difficult to find agreeable solutions to problems that arise. On the other hand, if you expect that, at some point, you and your ex might disagree, you can form a plan in your mind of how to keep stress to a minimum when you have to work through such issues.

Your children are your top priority

You may have past hurts or issues that still bother you about your marriage and the problems that led to your divorce. If you let that interfere with your desire to create a peaceful co-parenting plan, you might find your post-divorce relationship with your ex as stressful as your marriage may have been.

If you and your co-parent can agree to keep your children's best interests in mind and make their needs your greatest priority, you may be able to avoid angry confrontation and high levels of stress of your family searches for a new normal after divorce.

Know where to seek support

The good news is that you don't have to go it alone as you learn how to co-parent with your ex. Not only does providing encouragement and support to your children help keep stress to a minimum, knowing where to seek additional support when you yourself need it is equally important.

Divorce definitely prompts many changes in a Texas family's life, but it doesn't have to ruin it. Contrary to many of the horror stories you might hear at work or from friends or family who have gone through similar experiences in the past, it is often possible to create a co-parenting plan that helps you and your children adapt to a new lifestyle in a healthy, productive manner.

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