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The key to co-parenting: Communication

As you move through your divorce, you'll find that a lot of your focus moves to co-parenting as well as you can. You want to put your kids first. You want to coordinate with your ex and make decisions that help the children. How can you do it?

If you could distill everything down to one key factor, it's this: communication.

It can be hard. You and your ex no longer live together. You may have some baggage regarding the divorce that makes it harder to talk. You clearly do not see eye-to-eye on everything. In fact, a lack of communication may be what led to your divorce in the first place.

That said, it is the single most important thing you can do to improve life for your children. You need to have an open dialogue between the two of you at all times. You need to talk about decisions and parenting issues. You may not be married, but you still need to work together as parents, and that takes constant communication.

If it's harder to do it face-to-face with your new living situation, just look for other options. These could include writing each other email messages or text messages. You may want to call when you have time and just leave voicemail messages that you can listen to and answer whenever you want. Some parents use technology to talk on FaceTime or Skype, while others sit down and write letters to email back and forth.

The key is to realize that there is no wrong way to communicate. Just find out what works for you and remember that communication itself is incredibly important. It's also wise to look into all of your legal rights when there are important parenting issues to be decided so that you both know exactly where you stand.

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