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Don't let divorce turn you and your spouse into enemies

Divorce feels like it's you against your spouse. It's set up to be one team against the other, you against your opponent. You feel like you're trying to get what you want and deserve, while your spouse is trying to take it away.

Sometimes, these feelings spring from the manner in which the divorce was requested. You wanted to try to make things work, for instance, while your spouse decided to call it off. You feel like your spouse is trying to ruin your life and take away everything you expected to have forever.

These feelings may be natural, but experts warn that couples who have kids need to remember that they aren't just enemies. They're parents. When the dust settles, they still have to parent their children together. They have to work together and put the kids first.

Additionally, there's not a point when you'll both be entirely out of one another's lives. Those kids are your common ground, like it or not. When you both have custody rights, you must stay involved and connected. That's not something you can take back just by tearing up your marriage certificate.

What's important, during the divorce, is to remember that the kids need to come first. Don't let everything that is happening make you and your ex feel like mortal enemies who can never get along. When it's best for the kids, you must get along, even as you dissolve your marriage.

Instead, focus on the legal rights you have and what decisions you can make that help your children move forward with their lives. With this mindset, it's easier to sort everything out for the future.

Source: 2 Houses, "From ex-spouse to friend: Reinventing relationships after divorce," accessed Sep. 14, 2017

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