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Co-Parenting in New Jersey | What You Need to Know

Co-parenting is one of the hardest challenges you may face during and after a divorce. Often, parents have vastly differing opinions about what is best for their children. Additionally, you and your ex may not get along well, which can make communicating extremely difficult. The most important thing to remember is to put your child first, but the following tips may be able to help:

Document Everything

Sometimes, when ex-spouses no longer get along, communication can be difficult. As a result, it is important to document the interactions you have with your ex. This can include taking screenshots of texts, keeping emails, writing down any verbal interactions, etc. These records may come in handy if you and your ex are unable to co-parent successfully and need to go back to court or partake in mediation.

Be Thoughtful

If your ex makes you angry, try to take a minute to breathe/think/calm down before responding. Again, it is important to do what is best for your child. Going into a disagreement calmly, and choosing your words carefully, can greatly help de-escalate a tense situation.

Stick to the Facts

When speaking with your ex, try to leave out extraneous details and emotional language. Avoid behavior such as blaming or manipulation. Additionally, it is not realistic that you and your ex will always be in agreement, so prepare yourself for a “no” in some cases.

Be Straightforward and Consider the Time Frame

Avoid leaving questions so open-ended that you never get a response.  Additionally, set a reasonable timeline for some kind of response, but be mindful that the issue you are addressing may not be as much of a priority for the other person as it is for you.  Depending on the issue, 3-7 days may be reasonable for most responses, but you should not have to wait several weeks for a simple “yes” or “no.”

Remember the Golden Rule

Treat the other party with the same respect and consideration you would like from him or her.  Give him/her the benefit of the doubt sometimes and avoid jumping to conclusions.  This can be difficult, especially in the early days of separation or in the midst of contentious litigation.  The hope is that over time, with practice, it gets easier.  While being  “friendly” with your ex might not be realistic in some cases, you should be able to treat them with the basic civility you would use toward a stranger.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding co-parenting after a New Jersey divorce, contact our firm today.

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