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Dealing with an ex-spouse while co-parenting

When divorce action concludes in an Alaska court, many ex-spouses still need to interact because of their children. When a co-parenting plan is in place, parents with joint legal custody typically share responsibility for important decisions. Additionally, a visitation plan is usually implemented to ensure that children are able to continue to thrive in their relationships with both parents. Unfortunately, this can be difficult for everyone if the parents are continually at odds and arguing. It is important to keep things as positive as possible in order to benefit the children, which can be difficult because of the underlying conflicts that may have contributed to the divorce.

Although a divorce often pits parents against each other, it should not create the same animosity between the children and one parent or the other. Keeping things positive may begin with committing to not arguing. Even if one party won't stop the negativity, the other party can choose to remain focused on objective issues and avoiding arguments. At the same time, it is important to set boundaries. Antagonistic communication and off-topic conversations don't need to be tolerated. Create rules for calling times, text messaging, and other situations.

Parents should make an effort to be a problem solver. Although one parent may feel that the other parent might not seem like an ideal partner in raising their children, interactions can be less antagonistic when there is a willingness to work together for the child's good. They should avoid blaming the other party and look for resolutions to any issues that need to change.

An occasional bad coparenting day doesn't mean that an entire plan is failing. However, there may be situations in which child custody matters need to be revisited because of unavoidable life changes. There may also be cases in which the matter needs to be reviewed with one's lawyer because of an ex-spouse's refusal to respect the terms of the arrangement.

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