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Lakeville Family Law Blog

After divorce, turn your attention to co-parenting

As your marriage comes to an end, you have no choice but to turn your attention to the future. For people with children, a focus on co-parenting is an absolute must. Even if you're not getting along with your ex-spouse, you should work together to provide your children with stability moving forward.

Co-parenting is easier said than done, as you and your ex may not have the same idea on how to raise your children. Here are five things you can do to get on the same page, while minimizing the risk of a serious argument:

  • Take everyone's feelings into consideration: Your children come first, but don't overlook how your ex is feeling during this time. When you put yourself in their shoes, you won't make decisions that harm them.
  • Pick your battles very carefully: There will be times when you have no choice but to push back on your ex, even if you know it will cause an argument. While it's okay to do so every now and again, pick your battles carefully. If every disagreement turns into a major fight, you'll find it difficult to establish any type of co-parenting routine.
  • Find a way to communicate effectively: Some divorced couples are okay with the idea of communicating in person and over the phone. Others don't like this approach, so they rely on email and text messages. As long as you find something that works for the both of you, communication shouldn't be an issue.
  • Don't get in the way: When your children are with your ex, do your best to stay out of the picture. Don't show up early to pick up your children. Don't send one text message after the next. Instead, respect their time together.
  • Avoid discussing your personal life: Now that your marriage is in the past, you don't have to share details of your personal life with your ex. Even if they ask, you can simply say "I'd rather keep that part of my life to myself."

Should you put off divorce until the children head to college?

You know that you want to end your marriage. You've known it for years. Things have fallen apart. You and your spouse barely speak and you usually fight when you do communicate. Your spouse subjects you to constant emotional abuse. You can't remember the last time you felt happy.

Here's the problem: You have two children who are still in high school. You feel like you should wait until they go to college to file for divorce. Is that wise?

Help your children learn to cope with major life changes

Your children have to go through a lot of changes. Not only do they deal with this at school and with their friends, but they also have a huge one to go through if you and their other parent divorce. This is a trying time for children, but they are usually adaptable enough to thrive despite the major adjustments they need to make.

As a parent, you might want to keep your children protected. While this is understandable, the time around your divorce is one during which you should work with your children to give them the skills and tools they need to cope with major life changes.

How do you know when it's time to file for divorce?

Knowing when it's time to divorce is never easy. Even in cases when the decision should be clear-cut and obvious -- like in situations of substance abuse, domestic violence or infidelity -- spouses may deliberate for years before they finally pull the trigger on their divorces.

In order to help you navigate your decision-making process, we've included four important questions that every spouse should ask before deciding whether the time is right to file.

Who's going to win my child custody dispute?

It's frightening to think about going a night without your children at home with you, but if you're in throes of a contentious child custody dispute, that's a reality you may need to face. Depending on how your child custody case ends, you may be lucky to receive full physical custody -- meaning your children live with you full-time -- or you might become the non-custodial parent who only has visitation rights.

It's difficult to predict exactly how a court will decide a child custody disagreement, but the following information may give you a clue as to what your end-results could be.

2 ways to divide your parenting time

Minnesota parents will probably want to spend as much time as possible with their children -- and this usually translates into living full time with the child. The problem is, as a divorced parent, it may be impossible to live with your child full time unless you receive full physical custody.

This brings us to the question of how to divvy up parenting time and the two most common ways that parents go about doing this: (1) the 50-50 child custody solution, and (2) the custodial parent and non-custodial parent arrangement.

3 issues that will test your sanity during divorce

When Minnesota residents are going through a complicated divorce, it's important for them to keep their eyes on the day when it will all be over and they can finally get on with their lives. Otherwise, the stresses of the divorce process can really take their toll.

Another way to stay "sane" during a divorce is to know what to expect ahead of time. This way, certain factors that will definitely test the average person's patience will not come as a surprise and they will be easier to navigate. With this in mind, here are three unexpected effects of divorce that everyone should be aware of:

Parenting agreements and relocating with your child

Raising your child as a co-parent creates a difficult dynamic if you want to move away from your current location. Many parents find themselves tied to the location where their child happens to be at the time of their divorce. If one co-parent wants to move for a better job or a better life in another place, for example, the other co-parent could nix the move by refusing to give permission.

Since one parent's wish to relocate could represent a significant issue in the years after your divorce, you may want to clarify how to handle the issue by including a series of specifically worded parenting provisions in your child custody agreement.

Breaking down 5 divorce myths

Divorce has grown more common over the past few decades, and that trend has also spawned a number of serious myths about the process.

Maybe you and your spouse are considering divorce, and you have heard all sorts of "facts" from your co-workers whenever you bring it up. They tell you things you can barely believe. What is safe to discount? How do you separate fact from fiction before entering into divorce yourself?

Advice for talking to preschoolers about divorce

Adults and children view divorce very differently -- especially when you're comparing adults with young, preschool-aged children. An adult will experience different complicated facets of a divorce, but a preschooler will see it in simple, concrete terms.

While you're concerned about the long-term consequences of your ending relationship -- and trying to keep an eye on the big, positive picture -- your preschooler is worrying about whom the cat's going to live with and whether he'll ever see his dad again.

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To discuss your divorce or other family law issue with attorney Todd Dwire,
please contact us at 952-232-0179 or 866-442-9693.

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