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Finding your rhythm in life after divorce can take some time. Navigating your new co-parent relationship and can also be a struggle at first too.

Instead of feeling lost, you can proactively establish positive communication habits with your co-parent. Understanding that the way you communicate with one another will be a drastic change from your pre-divorce days can be your first step. Then, from there you should keep your children at the forefront, compromise when you can and don’t forget to address your own feelings.

Prioritize your children

When you make your children the focus of co-parent decisions, you can find common ground with little to no argument. For example, your co-parent might suggest switching your children’s pediatrician to an office closer to their new home, because they are able to take the kids to more appointments with their flexible work schedule. Since regular doctor visits are important for your children, there is probably no need to argue the idea, even if you really like their current doctor.

Rethink communication methods

Sometimes a plan you develop at the beginning of your divorce might look good on paper, but be unrealistic for you to maintain. Like, if you have a plan to get together to compile a schedule for all child-related duties each month, it might be difficult for you to dedicate that much time for in-person interactions with your ex. Instead, you could limit in-person interactions more and infuse apps to communicate about scheduling, custody and other co-parenting matters.

Take some time for yourself

It’s okay to feel angry, sad, confused, frustrated or however you want to feel about your divorce. But, instead of taking these feelings out on your ex-spouse, you should find other ways to heal and cope. Whether that is new friends, hobbies or therapy, is completely up to you. Taking care of your own well-being will help you clearly communicate your needs as a co-parent and fulfill your duties as a parent.

There’s no perfect formula to how to keep in touch and work as a team with your co-parent, so doing what works best for your situation and your children is the way to go.