Check List for Dos and Don’ts for Minnesota Divorcing Parties With Custody Issues-It’s All About the Children

This is a repost of what I think are good tips for working with the other parent during a Minnesota divorce or a Minnesota custody matter. Actually, these are good tips for all parents that may live apart. 


1. Do be civil and polite to your spouse especially in front of the children

2. Do be generous in allowing the other parent lots of time with the children.   It’s about the children so let them spend time and extra time with the other parent.

3.   Do communicate with the other parent about the children and keep him/her involved in all matters related to the children; e-mail or join a secure family communication website like to exchange information.   Keep the other parent informed about medical appointments, school events and activities, and any thing else related to the children.   Co-parent as partners in raising the children without living together.

4. Do speak in positive ways about the other parent.  Remember that the children are half of you and half of him/her. When you criticize the other parent you are criticizing that half of your child.

6. Do consider both extended families and let the children have time with both Grandparents and other relatives. Children cannot have too many people who love them.

7. Do be flexible in co-parenting and allow the extras like special family events or outings. It all benefits the children.

8. Do seek out a counselor to help you with life changes if your emotions about the marriage get in the way of your co-parenting.


1. Don’t engage in verbal sparring, arguments or disputes in the presence of the children.  Take any disputes to a mediator if you cannot resolve the issue. Remember children are listening to you communicate with the other parent even when you are on the phone.  Children also are very good at picking up non-verbal cues.

2. Don’t engage in a battle over minor issues; try to look at the long term bigger picture. You will be parenting together until the youngest is 18.  You both will likely be in attendance at college graduations, marriages, baptisms, grandchildren’s birthdays and special events.  In sum, you will be seeing one another over the years.  You may be divorced, but you are still a family.

3. Don’t engage the children in any custody, parenting time, visitation, financial support, or other adult agenda. Don’t  discuss any aspect of the case with the children.

4. Don’t make the children decide between you or the other parent; e.g., do you want to go shopping with me or go with your dad/mom?

5. Don’t speak negatively about the other parent or the other parent’s extended family.

6. Don’t ask the children questions about the other parent’s life.   The children shouldn’t be little eyes and ears reporting on the other parent’s actions or behaviors.  Let the children be children enjoying time with a parent.

7. Don’t be a micro-manager when it comes to a parenting time schedule.  Your graciousness in allowing extra time will come back to you.

8. Don’t let your anger or emotion about the marriage negatively impact your co-parenting.  See a counselor to help you sort through the life change and keep co-parenting positive.

If you like this post, I would love it if you would hit the “subscribe” button so that I may continue to share a variety of family law topics with you.  Please do share this post via the share buttons at the bottom of the page. Thanks for reading.

Kate Willmore

Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Divorce, Family Lawyer, Father’s Rights, Family Court Lawyer and Mediator Coach

(320) 492-3606

Copyright 2014


About Kate Willmore, Esq.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, divorce, custody and family attorney brings over 25 years experience to every client's legal matter. *** Licensed in Minnesota and in California

One Response to “Check List for Dos and Don’ts for Minnesota Divorcing Parties With Custody Issues-It’s All About the Children”

  1. Wise words.


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