Keep your cool when it comes to co-parenting disputes

The act of divorce inherently leaves some bad feelings lingering between the two former spouses. They may have ended things amicably, but there could still be some heartbreak and anger between the two. There is also the flip side of the coin, which would see the spouses angrily divorce, and thus there is little to no chance of them ever being cooperative in the future.

However, when a kid is involved in the divorce equation and the former spouses need to work out custody arrangements, cooperation is absolutely vital. Even if the parents hate each other's guts, they need to find a way to make it work so that their children can enjoy a healthy relationship with them both.

This means that both parents want to avoid subversive or rude comments about their ex -- because that is your child's mother or father, after all. Besides, those comments -- though they may make you feel good -- will do nothing but upset your children.

Another thing to remember about custody and co-parenting cooperation is that you need to be flexible with your spouse regarding schedules, special occasions and any other wrinkles in your custody arrangements. This can help build a good working relationship with your ex, while also helping your son or daughter better cope with this new family dynamic.

Last but not least, don't forget that avoiding conflict is crucial as co-parents. This isn't easy -- but it can be done. Avoid conversations that are likely to generate heated arguments. If a conversation does get heated, take a deep breath and collect your thoughts before continuing.

Source: Huffington Post, "When Co-Parenting Is Difficult," Peggy Kruger Tietz, Nov. 18, 2013