South Dakota Child Custody Lawyer Tells How to Make Co-Parenting Work

Brooke Swier Schloss
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Family Law and Estate Planning attorney helping families across South Dakota plan and protect their loved ones


A South Dakota divorce is difficult on all parties, but perhaps the people most affected by the proceedings are the children. These kids are left wondering what went wrong, if the dissolution of your marriage was any fault of theirs and what their life will look like from now on.

Divorce is a major life change for a child. For many parents, making that transition as easy as possible on the kids is an important consideration.

3 Steps To Co-Parenting In South Dakota

One way to ease the adjustment is through co-parenting, where both parents share child custody in South Dakota. Making this situation work may seem difficult at first, but there are some important steps you can take to strengthen this new arrangement.

Step #1 - Create equal rules for both new households. 

Children need order and consistency to learn right from wrong. Sit down with the person you are sharing custody with and define rules that will be enforced in both homes. This will help the child feel a sense of consistency between households—and also recognize that, even if her parents are no longer married, they still have a cooperative relationship toward their children.

Step #2 - Define specific items you want to teach your child.

Not only are rules important to the development of your child, but so are specific tools and lessons they must learn. Sit down ahead of time and plan what you want to teach your child in terms of activities, life lessons, and more. This way, the child can continue to learn regardless of whose home they are living in.

Step #3 - Don't argue in front of your children.

Children go through enough emotional distress during a divorce. Seeing their parents argue after the divorce is finalized can be difficult. If you have a disagreement, do your best to resolve it away from earshot of the children.

As child custody attorneys in South Dakota, we see many cases where co-parenting can succeed. Use these tips to help ease into the new custody situation for your children. For help arranging this child custody in South Dakota, contact our offices at (605) 275-5669 to speak to a family law attorney.

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