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Family Law Attorney

I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Is it possible to co-parent well?

Co-parenting after a divorce is never easy especially when the former spouse refuses to cooperate or communicate in a positive manner.

Massachusetts parents who have gotten divorced from their children's other parent know that they are never fully divorced from that person. The ties that bind them through their joint children last a lifetime and challenges may not always be easily navigated.

In some situations, divorced parents can actually learn to work pretty well together. This requires conscious work and commitment on the part of both people, including the willingness to put some of their grudges aside. When one parent does not do this, however, what is the other parent supposed to do?

Focus on what you can control

Perhaps one of the most important things for any divorced parent to remember is that they cannot control anyone other than themselves. Our Family Wizard provides divorced parents with online tools to help facilitate more positive communications and reduced conflict.

Instead of trying to figure out ways to make the other person work with them or change in some way, parents are encouraged to put their energies into their own behavior and responses to the actions or word of the other person.

Seek ways to reduce interactions

Psychology Today recommends that parents with difficult exes try to limit unnecessary interactions. Instead of face-to-face conversations, it may be possible to leverage email or co-parenting apps or websites to manage schedules, money and more.

By reducing the number of times they must talk about difficult topics, parents may be able to lower their overall level of stress. This is something that the kids may well pick up on and less conflict is definitely in their best interest.

Be professional and smart

Another tactic that Smart Stepfamilies suggests is that parents adopt a respectful attitude toward their former spouses, like they might do with a co-worker. This may help them to keep some emotion out of the equation or at least soften it.

Also, before responding to something, people should stop and evaluate the situation carefully. Not everything really needs to be addressed. Just like with their kids, parents should pick their battles with former spouses carefully. Focus on the big issues that really matter and let the other things go.

When an issue does need to be addressed, parents should carefully select a time and even a place to bring it up. Talking to an ex about an issue when exchanging the kids is not a good time for such discussions as the kids should never be present when difficult conversations must happen.

Get help

Certainly a counselor or therapist may be able to help Massachusetts parents work with a former spouse more effectively. Also important is the right legal partner during a divorce. This gives parents the peace of mind they need to know the details of their divorces are being handled appropriately so they can focus on their children's needs.



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Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
1380 Main Street,Suite 302
Springfield, MA 01103
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Phone: 413-315-5518
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Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 278
Monson, MA 01057
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