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Is co-parenting a good option for your post-divorce family?

Finding ways to parent with a divorced partner is not always easy, but you will have to deal with the other parent for the rest of your life. Co-parenting, or shared custody, is the best option, according to HelpGuide.org. Children whose divorced parents have a cooperative relationship are more secure and have better self-esteem. These children typically have good problem-solving skills because they have a healthy example to follow. 

How do you know if co-parenting is right for your situation? Here are some tips: 

  • Generally, co-parenting is not going to work when there is violence or abuse in the past relationship.
  • Can you and your ex stay kid-focused? Do you both want to make sure to put the children first?
  • Are you and the other parent willing to learn new ways to communicate and deal with problems?
  • Can you and the other parent be flexible in sharing time? Shared custody is not about 50-50 time, but about doing what is best for the children.
  • Can you recognize the challenge in co-parenting while remembering that you are doing it for your children? 

Other solutions

If co-parenting is not going to work out, you have other options. In parallel parenting, each parent maintains responsibility for the daily routines when the children are with the parent. The parents do not talk to each other except about the children, limiting that communication. Essentially, both parents disengage from each other and expect the other to maintain their end of the parenting agreement. 

It can be challenging to work out a custody arrangement during a divorce, because of all the emotions involved. A third party can often help you develop a plan you might never have thought possible. Divorce is very stressful, but a good lawyer can help you through the process and relieve some of the anxiety. When you know your rights and responsibilities, you can find solutions for even the most difficult situations.

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