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How to prepare your children for a visit with their other parent

Even though it may not be something you want your children to do, it's critical that they are able to spend time with both parents after divorce. This can help them maintain a healthy relationship with their other parent, which will have a positive impact on their life for years to come.

Depending on the age of your children, you may need to take several key steps to prepare them for a visit with your ex. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Talk to your ex about the details: For example, if your children are nervous about an upcoming visit, perhaps because they'll be away from you for longer than ever before, talk to your ex about their concerns.
  • Don't get in the way: It's tempting to bad mouth your ex in front of your children, but doing this won't make them happy about having to spend time with them. Keep your feelings regarding your ex to yourself.
  • Ask them if they have any questions: Don't assume that your children are okay with the visit they're about to take. Ask questions, answer them to the best of your ability and reassure them when possible.
  • Keep a positive attitude: If you're positive about the experience, your children are likely to follow suit. But if you're down in the dumps about the visit, they may begin to feel the same way.

The key to success with child custody, visitation and co-parenting is getting on the same page as your ex. If you do this and still run into trouble, review your parenting agreement and consider if it's time to request a modification from the court.

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