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Summer visitation can raise questions about child custody

Are your co-parented children receiving the best guidance from both you and your ex-spouse? For parents who find themselves shuttling their kids back and forth between households in Pennsylvania, this may be a difficult question to answer. Since summer visitation season is in full swing, we thought we would provide you with a few extra tips to help you boost your co-parenting skills to serve the best interests of the child you love.

First, co-parenting requires adherence to a schedule. Make sure that your child knows where she will be on any given day by posting a calendar and sticking to a routine. Your child needs to feel understood -- part of that understanding is accepting the fact that structure is generally important to most functional youngsters.

It is also important to remember that you and your ex are almost certain to have different parenting styles. Although these differences exist, strive for consistency and predictability across households. Setting realistic discipline rules and standards for upbringing will help your child grow into a well-adjusted, healthy adult, despite traveling between homes.

Finally, make sure that your communication with the other household is always respectful, direct and calm. The last thing a co-parenting arrangement needs is a tiff about child custody. Respect your ex by acknowledging boundaries that may exist at the other home. Transition times should be peaceful, for example, not rife with conflict.

You, too, can act in the best interests of the child by modulating your emotions and regulating household behaviors. You can work together with your ex-spouse to determine the best course of action for your family members. With a bit of consideration and a significant amount of communication, you, too, can survive summer visitation challenges!

Source: The Huffington Post, "Survival Guide for Visiting Kids aka Co-Parenting Etiquette 101: One Dozen Tips" Tara Fass, Jul. 07, 2014

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