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How to Put Your Children First in Co-Parenting

Separation, and ultimately divorce in some cases, can be one of the hardest things that a couple who once shared a life together can endure. For some, the once happy memories are now replaced with hostility and contempt. But when children are involved, the one aspect more difficult than the divorce itself, is successfully co-parenting children together. How do you successfully raise children with someone who is no longer part of your life, someone whom you may have even grown to dislike? As family law attorney Jackie Dupler explains, the answer is quite simple, "You have to love your kids, more than you hate your ex!"

"I recognize that co-parenting together is difficult, and I have seen time and again the struggles that ex-couples go through to co-parent successfully as there may be some hurt feelings in the beginning. But as difficult as it is, it is that much more important." Jackie explains. "At the end of a relationship, the uncoupling that parents can go through causes them to have to work together to facilitate their child(ren)'s growth, development, education, and pursuit of interests. Whether it is academic, athletic or artistic, it is essential that parents maintain an effective and appropriate line of communication between one another."

Jackie offered these suggestions for successful co-parenting when discussing the topic on Foster Swift's Second Wednesday Morning Break with fellow attorney Patricia Scott:

  • Common strains on co-parents such as one parent finding a new partner, or the child's academic struggles.
  • What the Courts typically want in a co-parenting situation.
  • Examples of good co-parenting and bad co-parenting. This includes intentionally being late for a parenting time exchange or keeping information about your child's rescheduled ballgame from the other parent.

While your initial goal may be to make the other parent look bad, it really is the child who suffers in these conflicts. Clear communication is key. Children should not be messengers between parents that are not leaving an open line of communication between each other. If you don't communicate well, then you can't co-parent well, and sadly this is where you are likely to have conflicts requiring legal counsel to resolve the situation.

To hear more, click the thumbnail below to view the interview in its entirety.

Jackie Dupler: Co-parentingThis video is for general information purposes only and IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. If you seek legal counsel or need help in determining how this information applies to a specific situation, contact a Foster Swift family law attorney before taking any action.

Categories: Co-Parenting, Custody, Divorce

Photo of Jacquelyn A. Dupler
Senior Attorney

Jackie specializes in a wide range of family law matters, from straightforward divorce cases to family situations with more complicated circumstances. She also has extensive experience navigating family situations involving substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, mental health concerns, co-parenting, and financial difficulties.

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