While co-parenting is often what’s best for children after divorce, there are several things parents should do to ensure the arrangement is successful.
When parents in Texas divorce, they are often ordered to share custody of their children through a joint or joint physical custody arrangement. According to the American Bar Association, in joint child custody arrangements, both parents share in making major decisions about their children. In join physical custody arrangements, parents split the time they spend with their children.
The Benefits of Co-Parenting
Sharing custody after divorce is often what is best for children because, according to Psychology today, these arrangements:
- Allow children to maintain and further develop relationships with both of their parents
- Reduce the risk of parental alienation
- Give parents the ability to preserve the relationships they have with their children
- Decrease parental conflict
- Helps parents adequately meet their children’s needs
While participating in a joint parenting plan after divorce is associated with many benefits, it can still be difficult for parents to successfully co-parent with their ex-spouse. To prevent unnecessary tension and to ensure their children’s needs are taken care of, there are several steps parents should take and several things they should avoid while sharing custody.
What to Do
According to ABC News, parent should establish a routine for their children that is consistent between both households. For instance, if their children are used to going to bed at a certain time, they should go to bed at this time when they are staying with their mother and when they are spending time with their father.
Parents should also minimize differences in wealth between both of their houses as much as possible. When discrepancies in lifestyle are present, children may desire to stay at the wealthier household more often.
What to Avoid
After their divorce, parents should refrain from becoming too friendly with their ex-spouse, states ABC News. For instance, while parents may both show up at their children’s events, they should avoid getting together for dinner alone or sleeping over at the other’s home. Divorced parents who fail to do this could send mixed messages to their children that they might get back together.
Additionally, parents should avoid speaking negatively about their ex-spouse in front of their children or releasing their anger about problems they are dealing with related to the co-parenting agreement when their children are present. Instead, parents should speak with a therapist or talk to a close friend or family member about these issues.
How an Attorney Can Help
When parents are granted joint custody of their children, they may still worry about how to manage this plan with their ex-spouse. If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, speak with an attorney about how to devise and maintain a successful co-parenting plan.
Keywords: divorce, co-parent, visitation, custody.