Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Upcoming book focuses on co-parenting with ex-spouse

Even after a marriage ends, it is still possible to keep a family together. The best interests of the child should never take a back seat to the parents' egos. When divorce papers are filed, both spouses should consider the welfare of their children. In Massachusetts, child custody cases are treated seriously by the court. Some judges may want parents to have a polite relationship for their child's sake through a parenting plan. An upcoming book tries to address that.

The book's author, a licensed psychologist, described her relationship with her ex-spouse as one of her most significant, long-term relationships. In the book, she talks about her personal experiences as a mother and co-parent while maintaining a harmonious relationship with her ex-husband, who died recently of pancreatic cancer and in whose memory the book is dedicated.

The key message notes that a good parenting relationship benefits not only the children but also the parents, citing that an ex-spouse's love and devotion to the children can offer a sense of safety and security for parents. Regardless of who has legal custody, opening the door to friendly communications and amicable relations will make co-parenting an enjoyable experience for everyone.

The author offered some tips on how to befriend an ex-spouse. She advises parents to remember that children do best when parents get along. She encourages parents to practice letting go of the past, learning to forgive and appreciate and to take risks and create new family traditions.

Divorces are usually difficult for all parties involved, including children. Many divorces end disastrously with co-parents having lingering animosities toward their ex-spouse. These feelings make it difficult for the children, exposing them to the pain of a broken home. A divorce can impact co-parents emotionally, but having a mutual understanding of the importance of each parent's role and learning to be a friend to one another can have positive effects on each spouse's well-being and the well-being of their children. Divorce, and child custody disputes in particular, can be painful for everyone involved. Parents should make the best of a difficult situation by making the children understand that they are loved and wanted no matter which parent has custody of them.

Source: Huffington Post, "10 Secrets To Befriending Your Ex," Judith Ruskay Rabinor, Feb. 5, 2013

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