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Fathers' rights: Co-parenting after custody is settled

For many Florida fathers, the period of time that follows a divorce can be just as challenging as the divorce itself. This is especially true for those who have fought a difficult fathers' rights battle, but even fathers who have had a relatively easy divorce can be thrown for a loop when transitioning into the next steps. This is a time in which new roles are structured, new boundaries are set and all parties begin to settle into the routine of a co-parenting arrangement. For those who are preparing to enter this process, there are a few basic guidelines that can make the transition easier for all involved.

One of the most important things that both parents can do to make the process easier is to implement a strict policy of never badmouthing each other in the presence of the kids. Virtually all parents know that making direct negative statements is a bad policy, but many of us let a range of relatively minor comments slip past that filter. Children are highly perceptive, and they will pick up on even the slightest verbal affronts that parents make toward or about each other.

A good way to avoid falling into a pattern of negative statements is to simply take a deep breath before saying anything about the other parent. Just this slight pause will often give an individual the chance to think about whether they should make a statement, or simply keep that particular thought to themselves. It can also be helpful to choose to only discuss the positive aspects of one's former spouse while in the presence of shared children.

While moving between a one-household structure to one in which a child moves between two homes, kids will need a significant level of support. When parents are able to remove a large measure of the tension from the situation, children can focus on getting used to the new routines and structure of both homes. Both mothers and fathers are giving their children a gift when they choose to avoid speaking ill of one another. No matter how difficult one's fathers' rights battle may have been, this is a worthy goal for Florida fathers to work toward.

Source: goodmenproject.com, "What are the Do's & Don't's for Newly Divorced Co-Parents?", Allana Pratt, Oct. 5, 2015

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