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When it Comes to a CoParenting Plan, it is all in the Details!

Couples in conflict often feel overwhelmed by the many layers of change they must begin considering when they try to determine whether their marriage can be saved.
One belief I share with the many individuals and couples grappling with this tough decision is this:
I believe that it is important to have a realistic vision of what life will look like either way, in order to make the best decision possible for you and your children.
One of the first issues I ask couples to consider is how they will continue to parent, either while they are working on the marriage or working through a divorce.
Parenting in separate homes is a major unknown for most couples who are considering whether they will remain married. I have created a checklist that helps parents consider all of the important details they will need to consider and come to agreement upon. It is called the Parenting Plan Essentials Checklist and you can download it from the link.
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Consistency Between CoParent Homes Gives Children a Stable Foundation

This is the first in my series of  60 Simple Things You Can Do to Spare Your Children Harm From Divorce.  Consistency between coparent homes, like many of the items on this list that protect children, do so doubly because the items, here creating consistency between homes, also serves to minimize conflict between co-parents.
Consistency between coparents' homes provides a solid base for children of divorce to  grow and adjust. When there is consistency between homes, children can better predict the consequences for their choices and the parent's approval. To make adapting easier for children, you and the other parent can create consistent rules, bedtimes, homework processes, expectations regarding grades, and school standards, limits on technology, similar curfews between homes, rules about when a child can skip dance or soccer practice or other extracurricular activity, how many sleepovers each can have in a week etc..Make and stick to your...
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A Simple Strategy to Put Out the Fire of CoParent Conflict

One circumstance that entrenches co-parents in high-conflict is when a parent has acute anxiety over the safety of their children while they are at the other coparent’s home. Many of the things I suggest relate to helping  coparents minimize uncertainty and worry.

I encourage coparents to specifically agree in writing on safety measures inside each of their homes. I do so not just to maximize the children’s safety but also to minimize conflict between parents. Safety measures should include protections to both the child’s physical and emotional health.

An example from my client Marlene. 

Marlene didn’t sleep at night when her kids stayed at their other parent’s house.  Her eight year old had mentioned that the smoke detector was beeping and that her dad took it down and threw it away. 

 Two things. Marlene was so immediately enraged and frightened that she did not stop to think about whether her child may have misunderstood...

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