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The Importance of Parental Cooperation After Divorce

Kentucky parents might expect that after a divorce, the amount of conflict they have with each other might dissipate. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. However, they must be careful to avoid exposing their children to that turmoil. They should also not use their children as messengers or as sounding boards for their frustration. Parents who need additional support should turn to friends or a therapist.

Although it may be difficult, parents should also work on giving each other the benefit of the doubt. One may disagree with the other’s choices or excuses for schedule changes, but it is best to assume that these are being done in good faith. Furthermore, they should not abandon efforts to co-parent. Being present in their child’s life is important, and children also benefit from seeing their parents cooperate.

Parents may want to create a parenting plan that covers many of the areas of dispute that might arise. This could include areas such as visitation with other family members, rules for new partners or stepparents, school issues, health care and discipline. Parents should also plan how they will handle conflict as it arises. The agreement can be changed as needed.

Mediation might be one way parents can work together during the divorce and come to an agreement without litigation. The underlying principle of mediation is cooperation, and this is in contrast to the adversarial approach of litigation that emphasizes a winner and a loser. Parents might be able to take skills learned through mediation and use them after the divorce as well. Mediation can be helpful even if parents only agree on some issues and must go to litigation for others. However, if one parent is uncooperative or if there are serious issues such as abuse or concerns about international abduction, it might not be possible.