So, you have decided to get divorced. You have made the first decision in a long procession of complicated choices. For instance, you now need to decide what to do with your Denver home, how to fairly divide your other marital assets and even who gets to keep the dog.

In addition, you will have to make some major decisions concerning the children, the first being how to tell them you and your spouse are splitting up. You and your soon-to-be ex will then have to figure out how to continue being parents after the divorce. For many couples, this means working out a co-parenting plan.

Usually, the best time to start talking about co-parenting is when you and your spouse are negotiating the parenting agreement. This is the time when you will begin talking about scheduling, responsibilities and financial issues related to your children. If you had a contentious marriage, then co-parenting may not come easily to you. However, here are a few tips to help you be successful.

Check your feelings at the door

Divorce generally includes feelings of anger, abandonment and a range of emotions that both parties experience. For the emotional and mental health of your children, it is important to check these emotions when you and your ex are trying to co-parent. Instead of letting feelings about your spouse take over, keep the children the focus of every encounter and save the venting for your therapists or a night out with friends.

Always act with respect

This one may be a bit difficult and tough to swallow, but, when it comes to co-parenting, you should always treat the other parent with respect. Also, do not hold back on appreciation or praise when the situation calls for it. This can go a long way toward making co-parenting easier for you and your children.

Keep the communication open

When it comes to successful co-parenting, communication plays a major role. It might even be beneficial to treat co-parenting like a business arrangement. For example, you and your ex might consider setting up weekly status checks to make sure things are going smoothly, to go over any schedule changes or upcoming events. There are some resources online that can help you with scheduling and posting updates on after-school activities and other things that might affect your children.

In addition to the above, you should prepare yourself and your children for the changes that will occur with the divorce. Also, encourage your kids to talk about their feelings about the divorce and be prepared to have open and honest discussions about how their lives might be affected. If you are planning to divorce and have children, be sure to build a successful co-parenting plan.