Last month I discussed “Successful Co-Parenting – Part I”. The Huffington Post recently discussed what actions need to be taken and issues that need to be addressed for two divorced individuals to co-parent.

1. Set Boundaries – In any relationship, not just with your ex-spouse, boundaries must be established. When there is a high-conflict situation, calmer heads do not always prevail. However, you must set limits on what you will and won’t accept or tolerate in a relationship. Setting these limitations will allow you to gain some control back in your life while also setting an example for your children as to how to deal with others.

2. Talk To Your Children –Texas courts prohibit parents from discussing the litigation with their children. Divorce and the actions that go along with it are very adult issues and children have no place in being involved in those adult disputes. Therefore, it is important to speak with your children about the changes that are going on in their life in relation to the divorce without turning the discussion into a he said/she said dialogue about the other parent.

3. Have Consistency Between Two Homes – Most pediatricians, psychologists and counselors agree that consistency is of upmost importance for a child. Life gets in the way. Competing schedules are present in every household in America. It is important to have open lines of communication with your ex-spouse. Parents must be able to discuss events and schedules in a child’s life and be flexible with each other and adjust when those things change.

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.