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  2. Why do we go through the hassle and pain of coparenting (often with someone with whom we might prefer not to have any contact if not for the kids)? It's because kids benefit from multiple parents. The other parent's involvement involvement isn't just for them, it's for the kids. From an Instagram post--"I’m not just a Saturday playmate."
  3. Help the kids to communicate with the other parent - This generally applies any time of year. But, when you pick your kids up from school, the first thing you probably ask them is what happened at school that day. If you can find a way (the logistics probably depend on the age of the child and the relationship with the coparent), letting the kids share the most exciting immediate news with the other parent really helps establish that you're both involved in their lives. That could be a text message, a phone call, or a Skype or FaceTime session.
  4. I should add, if I'm talking to the kids I refer to it as "our house", not "my house" or "dads house".
  5. Moms and dads. I sometimes it find it tough to refer to the family house that I lived in for a decade as moms house, but that's what it is now.
  6. Establish consistent routines - As much as possible, the kids should know who's going to be picking them up from school and where they're going after school each day. If the children spend some school nights with each parent, having similar structure around the evening and morning will further help the kids feel comfortable and know what to expect. Homework, screen time, chores, and bedtimes are among the topics coparents can discuss and make similar across the kids' homes.
  7. Plan for unexpected expenses - If you have a parenting agreement, it probably addresses how to handle educational expenses, but unexpected expenses could arise that aren't specifically accounted for. You should have a plan, preferably in a written agreement, on how to deal with those expenses. You might split them as per your agreement (whether 50-50, proportional to income, or other), but also probably need some way to limit expenses and give each parent control over how much they spend. Some recommend contributing to a joint account that's used to pay extra expenses (when the agreed upon amount is used up, paying for additional expenses would be up to the parent). If you communicate and get along well you could just agree on each expense as it comes up (either instantly reimbursing the other parent using something like Venmo, PayPal, or Apple Pay, or keeping a log of each parents' expenses in an app or a simple Google Docs spreadsheet and settling up once a month).
  8. Share school information - When parents live in two different houses, it requires coordination to ensure that both see school-related communications. The school probably mails things to one house, emails one parent, and sends homework, grades, and information about school events home with the kids. It's important to give both parents an opportunity to see that information, regardless of who it came to. Having a shared email account that is used for the kids' school and activities is a much more reliable way to make sure communications go to both parents than forwarding emails to each other. But, you still have to have a scheme to share information that comes home with the kids. You can send immediate photos of everything that comes home via text or coparenting apps, and send hardcopies of schoolwork or school flyers back and forth in a folder that always goes back and forth with the kids between houses.
  9. Back to school time brings all sorts of coparenting challenges and opportunities to do what's best for your kids! I'll try to post some tips in this thread as August goes on. Of course, everyone's situation is different, so if any of the suggestions below seems to contradict your situation or exclude you, just remember that the point is doing what's best for the kids! Share in school events - It would be great if both parents could make it to the band concert, the school performance, or the award ceremony. If sitting together works for you, that can send a nice message that you overlook your differences to support your kids. But if it would lead to conflict, it's ok to sit apart! If one parent can't make it, or you feel you must take turns, keep the other parent in the loop (as much as you can) on special events (e.g. send a photo, let the parent who isn't there share a call or a text with the kid).
  10. Another app roundup: Divorce is hard. These 7 apps can make coordinating and communicating with your ex easier (USA Today) OurFamilyWizard coParenter AppClose SupportPay TalkingParents Mend ("a personal coach for the brokenhearted") Divorceify (walks you through a divorce, including finding therapists, attorneys, and mediators)
  11. Keep a notebook with all the times he doesn't follow the custody agreement. Even if you don't want to take away his limited visitation, it's valuable for any future negotiations that he doesn't take the time he has.
  12. My lawyer said not to agree to provide for the children after age 18, even if you plan to. It can only make things worse for you.
  13. Dad's house and mom's house kind of excludes the kids, and makes neither seem like their home. I've sometimes referred to the house they've lived in longer as the old house and the other one the new house, but that kind of seems judgmental. When talking to the ex, I sometimes refer to them by street name like the Elm house or the Oak house. I think the kids just refer to them as mom and dads anyway?
  14. https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/lenny-kravitz-wife-blended-family These stories are nice, and it's great to see people get along as well they can. But I think it sets up an unrealistic expectation that ideal coparenting involves the children's parent and step-parent being good friends. In some relationships, that might happen; but in others, there's good reason for it not to. I think good coparenting is doing what's best for the kids in your situation.
  15. This was interesting: Does having divorced parents affect your marriage? Kids learn what adult relationships look like from their parents. Having divorced parents definitely affects their view on marriage. But, it's not all bad, some might be more cautious, vowing to do better than their parents did, and be more careful in partner selection.
  16. Document and get the agreement in writing. You're divorced because you couldn't work together, so there will be times you don't get along or agree coparenting. That's when you need an agreement to fall back on.
  17. If he just wants to be Disney Dad and only be there for the fun times, your kids will always remember that you were the one who was there for them when they were sick.
  18. We were watching a tv show the other day and it was centered on a happily married couple. My daughter became uncomfortable and asked if we could watch something else, and said she doesn't really like marriage. Is this just a phase?
  19. My ex never ever takes the girls if they're sick. He moved over an hour away and only sees them two weekends each month. He was supposed to come get them yesterday morning, but when I texted that one had a fever, he backed out. He was mad it ruined his weekend, like it was my fault she got sick! Anyone else deal with this?
  20. Family income goes down after divorce. What does this mean for kids education? - Desert News Divorcing? 13 clever tech tools to make it easier on you, your kids, and finances - Komando.com
  21. Another round-up of apps: Divorcing? 13 clever tech tools to make it easier on you, your kids, and finances - Komando.com They cover: Scheduling (cozi, Google Calendar, coparenter, CustodyJunction, SquareHub) Tracking child support costs (AppClose, SupportPay) Dealing with the legal system (CustodyXChange, DivorceLog, Talking Parents) Maintaining amicable divorces (amicable, OurFamilyWizard)
  22. https://drkarenfinn.com/divorce-blog/coparenting/509-13-reasons-why-co-parenting-doesn-t-work-for-everyone Lists 12 requirements for successful coparenting, then inverts them to identify those situations in which one of those 12 is not met. The 12 are:
  23. I would make sure you help the kids do something for her. I wrote a bit about this last year: Mother's Day for the separated or divorced dads out there
  24. Do you do anything for the kids mom or not?
  25. No arguing via text. Texts are saved for coordinating.
  26. It seems useful to coordinate on things like bedtimes, screen time, rules, etc.
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