Divorce is difficult on all parties involved, including children who are left to deal with their new life in the near future. As a parent, you need to keep the best interests of your children in mind during the divorce process.

Once your divorce is in the past, it’s time to turn your attention to co-parenting. Even if you don’t get along with your ex-spouse, there are things you need to do to ensure that your children are in position to live a good life.

Here are five things you can do to improve your approach to co-parenting:

  • Think about how your ex-spouse feels: It’s hard to do, especially if you don’t care about their feelings, but you need to do it for the good of your children. When you take this approach, you’ll never make decisions just to get back at the person. You’ll always do what’s best for all parties involved.
  • Pick your battles wisely: You may feel like arguing with your ex-spouse time after time, but this is a bad mistake that will only make things worse. There are times to argue with your ex, and times when it makes sense to let a situation die off. Learn the difference.
  • Communicate as often as possible (and as necessary): This doesn’t mean you have to talk every day, but an open line of communication is critical to raising your children. From text to email, from phone calls to face to face meetings, consider what works best for the two of you.
  • Be respectful: This means many things, such as not talking poorly about your ex to your children. Also, don’t get in the way when your ex is spending time with your children. You’ll have your time, and hope that your ex takes the same approach.
  • Be open and honest: If you have a problem, bring it to the forefront and do your best to find a solution. There are times when this may cause an argument, but it’s better than holding everything in and hoping for the best.

With a parenting plan in place, you’ll know what you should and shouldn’t be doing as you raise your children. Combine this with the tips above, and you’ll find it easier to provide your children with the upbringing they deserve.