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  2. Co-parenting over the holidays is HARD! I know from experience the complexities that come with it. Are you or your children (or somebody you know) struggling with holiday worries? I wrote a FREE children’s book “How will Santa find me?” to help children navigate worries over Christmas, and to help co-parents to make a plan, agree, and share it with their children. I’ve also compiled a resource website for holiday co-parenting. I’d LOVE to share my book and website with you. Go to: www.holidaycoparenting.com to download the FREE e-book (hit the button that says free book download) Please share, share, share on any platform! You never know who may see your post that could really use this book to read to their children right now! Wishing you happy holidays. Thank you, With Warmth, Carin Smolinski
  3. My Ex and I use a CoParenting app exclusively to communicate, we don't call each other, text, I'm not on social media and we don't see each other at pickups/drop offs. You can't actually see your own profile picture on this app, but your coparent sees it every time they open it to communicate about the kids, so when we started using the app I set my profile picture to just a picture of the kids. She set hers to one of her and her boyfriend, and has actually updated it to another one of her and her boyfriend here recently, so I get to see a picture of them daily. I've been ignoring it, but I have to ask, is this normal behavior? It's almost been a year since the divorce and over a year since she started dating this guy, why is she so intent on rubbing her relationship in my face? I don't care about her, I care about the kids, I don't see how our co parenting relationship needs to involve anyone else.
  4. I'm having the opposite problem again this school year. Whenever one of the kids is sick, school calls my ex (the mom) first. We both work flexible jobs, and I wouldn't mind taking a day off to watch a sick kid now and then.
  5. It can be really hard to decide how to spend your time with your kids when the time is limited. You want to do things with them and bond with them, but you also don't just want to be special occasion "Disney dad", you want to be there for the normal lives. I give them some alone screen time, and we watch some series and movies together, but I definitely prefer not to have them just watch iPad or youtube all day when they're with me.
  6. I divorced from my ex-wife a few years ago and she is still causing issues. We have joint legal and physical custody week on and week off. Within the last couple couple of months things have gone off the rails because she wanted to put the boys in a private school. The boys are in a highly rated school district and the oldest has attended or three years. He was going to third grade and the youngest was starting kindergarten. She wanted me to tour the private school she picked out and I said I would visit but was against private school. That weekend I did research on the school and found out that it was not highly rated, the principal stated in the state of the school that it was not out of the woods from closing down, it was located in a high crime area, and had lack of funding among other things. I texted her and said I wasn’t going to attend but gave her parameters of what I would be looking for if we did choose private school. She kept on all week saying she wasn’t canceling the meeting. That Friday I get a text asking if I would be at the school because she was on her way and I told her no. She signed the boys up and disenrolled them from their elementary school without my permission. It took me multiple calls and emails with the principals to get things corrected. I sent the, our court order and school attorneys said she could t change them on her own. she quits communicating and takes them out of their daycare until her attorney told her she had to put them back because she said the daycare was unsafe for the children. I gave her a list of 5 others that she could sign them up at but she hasn’t done so, just keeps complaining. she keeps sending toys to my house the weeks I have the boys. I told her the boys don’t get toys all the time my house and they have to earn them. So she comes to my house in the middle of the night and tapes toys to the side of my car for the boys. i tell her that I would like to meet with her and the principal at school and the administrator at daycare to talk about issues and she meets with both of them without me. i scheduled a meeting with a coparenting counselor and she spends the whole time lying and making things up instead of dealing with issues. The coparenting counselor tells her she needs to communicate with me and she does nothing but argue with the coparenting counselor. She now wants the children in counseling after 5 years post separation when there were no issues for a full 2 years. The children are doing great in school and nobody has said they were concerned about the children. I told her I would consider it if she gives me reason why she feels they need to go. She won’t respond, just sends 3 emails saying she met with a counselor. i am at a loss on how to deal with her.
  7. 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."
  8. 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.
  9. I should add, if I'm talking to the kids I refer to it as "our house", not "my house" or "dads house".
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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).
  13. 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.
  14. 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).
  15. 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)
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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?
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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?
  24. 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?
  25. 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
  26. 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)
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