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The Next Step in Co-Parenting: Putting your Child Before Your Divorce for Graduation and for Life

With the best co-parenting will in the world, new situations will arise in your child’s life that challenge your co-parenting arrangement. Unfortunately sometimes, goodwill isn’t even a big factor in your relationship with your co-parent. High-conflict divorces reverberate through the lives of everyone involved making family holidays and family events occasions for treading on eggshells (or landmines if you’re unlucky enough).

At Boileau Conflict Solutions we provide longterm, co-parenting conflict management. We can help to craft practical co-parenting plans, informed by psychology, game theory and attuned to the deeper structures of conflict within relationships. Divorce may sever a marriage, but it is frequently said that co-parenting is for life. Additionally, a grown-up child is still a child, embedded in the family unit. The next step for your child, whether it be high school graduation, college graduation or marriage should be about your child and not any residual or ongoing conflict resulting from a divorce. It may be tempting for parents with grown-up children to assume the adult child can now absorb the parents’ emotional excess, but maintaining boundaries honors agreements and preserves emotional health.

It’s important to bear in mind that as a child becomes more independent, cooperation with your co-parent doesn’t become a thing of the past. Co-parenting takes on a new character, and in fact graduation may be the perfect time to re-tune arrangements. With young children, arrangements may be routine-focused, but when a child leaves home, family occasions may become the new focus of conflict (or cooperation). Investment in your child may become less about time and more about money as large college expenses loom, and parents may squabble over who invested the most in the child’s education. As life moves on, grandparents, new partners or spouses, children’s partners or friends may join your circle for important events, which can be a source of stress, particularly if outsiders don’t know the rules, or relatives take sides. If your child gets married, cultural traditions may clash, and arguments may arise over who pays for the wedding. The bottom line is that as the world gets bigger for your child, your world gets bigger too. Perhaps you and your co-parent have even agreed to fund your child’s summer travel plans. Will your child be safe on the road and are both of you on the same page about how much control to exercise? Who bails out your child if they get into difficulty? How do you and your parent become long-range planners for risk, opportunity and adventure as your child begins to make their way in the world?

At Boileau Conflict Solutions we recognize the values and interests of all stakeholders including your child. We are well-educated mediators and negotiators who bring financial, legal and psychological expertise to our practice, allowing us to offer practical solutions to any problem. We work with individuals and families from several countries and cultures and often oversee co-parenting arrangements that span states, countries or continents. We are available 7 days a week for free consultations. Please contact us to see how we can help.

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