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Improving communication after a child custody case

Once a custody battle has ended, it is not uncommon for both sides to emerge the worse for wear. In many cases, neither parent achieves an outcome that is ideal, although many Florida parents fight bitterly to retain the greatest possible share of child custody. Once the dust has settled, it is important for both parents to shake off their armor and begin building a new relationship as co-parents. This can be easier said than done, and the following advice is offered in the hopes of giving newly divorced parents a roadmap for forging this new relationship.

Perhaps the most important thing for parents to keep in mind during this challenging time is that flexibility will make the entire process easier to manage. It can be hard to bend and give after a particularly bitter divorce or custody fight. However, being accommodating now can pay off down the road when the time comes to ask for a favor from the other parent. In cases where one parent asks the other for a slight change in the custody schedule, it is beneficial to agree to the request whenever possible.

Another issue that many newly divorced parents face is allowing old communication patterns to color the experience of co-parenting. After years of adapting to a partner's communication style, it can be difficult to accept that things have changed after a divorce and that neither parent is the same person as they were during the marriage. Both sides must be willing to lower their defenses and listen to what the other parent is truly saying, rather than interpreting statements based on old communication patterns.

When both parents can work together to navigate the murky waters of a new child custody arrangement, the kids at the center of the matter will benefit. Establishing new communication patterns is one of the most important tasks that newly divorced parents should tackle. Once things settle into a rhythm, many Florida parents will come to anticipate the time that the kids spend with the other parent, as it offers the chance for some much-needed quiet time.  

Source: The Huffington Post, "Co-Parenting Post Divorce -- Turning Challenges Into Opportunities", Karen McMahon, June 21, 2016

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