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How to stay focused on your children when you can't stand your ex

Unless you have no marital assets or debts, no kids, and a very amicable break-up, divorce is stressful. You have to file paperwork, obtain a clear picture of your assets, figure out what you can live on after divorce, and determine the best way to unwind your entangled lives. For parents, however, property division may not be the most important aspect of a divorce. Child custody generally takes center stage.

How do you approach a custody arrangement, though, if you can't stand your ex? Of course, if you have children, you and your ex will have to interact on a regular basis, so it's best to keep things professional. A recent article in the Huffington Post offered a few tips on how to do that.

First, it is important to stick to your custody schedule. Aside from the fact that not doing so will be viewed negatively by a judge, it can prevent fights and allow your children the time they deserve with their other parent.

Next, when you have to communicate with your ex, be short and to-the-point. Discuss only what needs discussing, and avoid emotional confrontations when your children are around. When you can, stick to email communications. Not only can this help cut out the emotional aspect of talking in person or over the phone, but it also ensures that you have documentation of all your conversations in case you need them later on. Along those lines, make sure to keep your emails professional. Any combative, threatening or manipulative emails could get you in trouble with the court.

Finally, try to focus on your own life instead of your ex's. You can't control what he or she does, but you can control the way you live your life. Instead of worrying about what your ex is doing, try fostering your relationship with your kids and making the most of your new life.

Source: The Huffington Post, "10 Steps to Dealing With a Combative Ex: How to Protect Your Children," Sherrie Campbell, April 21, 2014

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