Divorcing parents: Learn how to co-parent with your ex

If you have scanned the magazines in a convenience store or glanced at the entertainment news online recently, you have likely seen headlines regarding Gwyneth Paltrow's "conscious uncoupling" from her husband, Chris Martin. While many are suggesting the pair's divorce announcement has created an impossible standard for other divorcing couples, some are focusing more on the couple's intention to co-parent.

As Paltrow and Martin have two children, they are reportedly planning on co-parenting their children following the divorce.

While people may be dissatisfied with the manner in which the two announced their separation, the goal of co-parenting generally is considered a wise choice that will benefit the children.

Parents who are going through a divorce can consider a few guidelines to smooth the transition to a helpful co-parenting relationship with their former partner.

Leave the arguments at the attorney's office

One of the best moves parents can make is to try not to argue with the other in front of their children. As a couple navigates through their new arrangement following a divorce, it can often be difficult to put aside the challenging decisions made during the divorce process. For the sake of the children, however, it is best for parents to leave those conversations at their attorney's office.

Instead, try to speak positively about the other spouse when around your children - or, at the very least, avoid making negative comments about your ex. When parents badmouth their former spouse in front of their children, it can cause the children to feel as though they must pick one parent or the other. The goal of co-parenting should be to allow your children to continue having healthy relationships with both parents.

Find an effective way to communicate with your ex

Particularly if you are sharing custody of your children, you will have to continue communicating with your ex following the divorce. Even the most organized custody arrangements will occasionally need to be altered slightly. In addition, parents will need to communicate about the children's needs.

Consequently, it is a good idea for parents to determine a method of communication that works for them, that does not involve using the children as intermediaries. If conversations in person often become heated, parents should consider making email or text messaging their primary mode of communication. Also, it is a wise choice for parents to agree to limit their communication to issues regarding the children.

If you are thinking about getting a divorce, you should seek the advice of a skilled family law attorney who will be able to protect your interests.