Hudson Valley Parent

HVP October 2019

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14 Hudson Valley Parent n October 2019 Admittedly, we did still love one another, but didn't know if that would be enough for us both to make significant behavioral changes the other person needed to occur in order to stay in the marriage. Would love be enough? Fortunately, in our case, we learned that the answer was yes. That's not all Mike and I learned during our year-and-a-half separation. In fact, one of the most important takeaways from our time apart was learning how to successfully co-parent Saige, without us being a couple ourselves. It wasn't always easy, but in the end, it was one hundred percent worth the effort. Common struggles of divorced parents Gina Carrigan of Wappingers Falls states that one of the greatest struggles both she and her ex-spouse experienced as newly divorced By JILL VALENTINO M y parents, baby boomers who made it through the peak years of the U.S. divorce rate still married to each other, eventually divorced in 2000. Though their divorce was amicable, in their case, "co-parenting" wasn't much of a concern, as my brother and I were already adults by that time. The same cannot be said of my husband Mike and myself back in January of 2010, however. From then until June, 2011, Mike and I were, for all intents and purposes, "separated," though no legal papers were ever filed. We had one child, Saige, who was only four years old at the time. Our temporary split was due to our having a tough time getting along with each other for several years, mostly due to me being a severe workaholic, and he, the extreme opposite of that description. co-parents was getting past the lingering hurt and anger of the divorce itself. "There was mistrust regarding the safety of our son," says Carrigan. "It took a very long time, with many bumps in the road and disagreements, to teach us both that we need to get along for our son's sake." Kate Smyth of Montgomery agrees. "Hurt feelings and mistrust can be experienced by not only the former spouses, but also by each sides' extended families," she says. Smyth credits the passage of time with mending fences between her and her ex-spouses' family members as well. "By the time our son had his first communion, both sides were eating together, along with new step-parents and their families," Smyth claims. Smyth also brings up additional struggles she initially faced as a newly divorced co-parent, which include issues concerning money "Just because you are divorced, doesn't mean you aren't a family" Tips to make co-parenting work Gina Carrigan (right) admits that it was hard to get past the lingering hurt and anger after her divorce. She and her ex learned that they had to get along for their son's sake.

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