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Don't let stress hinder your co-parenting relationship

When you and your former spouse decided to divorce, you no doubt understood that your decision would prompt changes in your own lives as well as your children's. There's a lot more to legally ending a marriage in a Colorado court than signing a few papers and moving on in life. The in-between can be quite stressful, especially if you and your ex have a contentious relationship.

There are several things to keep in mind that can help you keep stress to a minimum in your co-parenting interactions. First and foremost is to remember that you may no longer desire to be spouses, but you will always be parents together. Appreciating each other for the roles you play in your children's lives helps lay the groundwork for peaceful co-parenting.

Think of yourselves as a team

The way you run your household may be different from the rules and routines your spouse has in place for your kids. That's okay. You don't always have to think exactly the same when you're co-parenting. You do, however, have to be willing to work together as a team for the sake of your kids.

If a problem issue arises, agree to keep your children's best interests in mind. It's not about being right or proving the other person wrong as much as it is about finding common ground and being willing to compromise and cooperate so your children can adapt to their new lifestyle in as healthy a manner as possible.

It's okay to have positive thoughts about your ex

Many Colorado parents make the mistake of thinking they must always be at odds with their ex-spouses. This is untrue. In fact, it's helpful to remember that, although you no longer wish to be married, you once were in love and that love grew into a family with children.

If you focus on the positive memories and qualities your ex has a parent, you may be less likely to become entangled in child custody disputes. Spouses divorce each other, but parents do not divorce their children. If you acknowledge your ex as a special person in your children's lives, it can increase your chances of avoiding co-parenting stress.

Who can help you overcome challenges that arise?

In a perfect world, everything would be coming up roses after your divorce. In reality, you may face an obstacle in your co-parenting relationship that you don't feel able to handle on your own. By tapping into local resources, you can find encouragement and support as you help your children cope with your divorce and move on in life.

A trusted friend who has been through similar experiences may have sage advice in a particular circumstance. Family members, your children's teachers and guidance counselors, and local legal advocates can all help you build a strong support network that can step up in a pinch and help you resolve even the most complex child custody problems.

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