Custody has always been a sensitive topic when it comes to divorce. Co-Parenting preceding divorce is increasingly becoming a more desirable approach with children after the divorce is completed. In previous years the mother was typically granted full custody of the children, however, co-parenting now emphasizes an equal (or nearly equal) role for fathers.
Researchers believe this shift has occurred because more mothers are working full time jobs in order to help support their family. When you have two career couples, Co-parenting proceeding divorce makes the most sense. Fathers can now play a larger role in the life of their children. It is too exhausting to have a full time job as well as all the responsibility of raising the children. Shifting to this idea of co-parenting is a necessity they need to survive.
In order to co-parent you have to want to make it successful. So many couples proceed through the divorce in a destructive manner that makes it almost impossible to want to co-parent. In order to even begin to succeed with co-parenting, these divorced couples need to learn how to cooperate and for many of them that is extremely difficult. The following are ways to make co-parenting work.
1. Residential Proximity
It is recommended that parents live close to each other to have the most effective co-parenting experience. Their lives typically revolve around their child’s activities with school and friends. The need to drive them back and forth a long distance taxes everyone’s patience. Usually parents who reside within the children’s social orbit have less problems with co-parenting.
2. Economic Parity
Having economic differences between the two households almost always causes problems. Children are quick to see the differences between the incomes of both houses. Co-parenting becomes more expensive because it is requiring both households to participate in equal contribution to the children’s needs. Mother’s who agree to co-parent, don’t receive as high of child support from the father. For people who want co-parenting to work, they need to determine support levels that they each are responsible for. By carefully reviewing each others budgets, co-parents can come up with a fund that is adequate to both households.
Parents schedules need to be designed in a way that meets the needs of all family members. Newly single parents need time with their children but they also need time to build new social lives outside their family. It is important for children to have time with both parents but also need stability between the two to develop their social lives as well. Come up with a schedule that gives each parent two nights a week and alternating weekend’s. This provides plenty of time with each parent. There will be times that the set schedule doesn’t work and flexibility will need to partake in the arrangement. However, these schedules should be adhered to as a general principle.
4. Acceptance of Different Styles
No two parents are going to have the exact same parenting style. Learning to be cooperative as co-parents means you respect each others parenting styles and refrain from criticizing each other about those styles. Children want their parents to be at peace and do not want to be stuck in the middle about why you believe the other parent is not doing a good job.
5. Acceptance of each other’s new mates
Most parents will move on and find another person they want to marry. Integrating a new person into your children’s lives is hard to do. Each parent needs to encourage the child to like and respect the new stepparent. Any negative feelings about the new stepparent needs to be kept between the parents and worked out. A child should never hear those negative thoughts about the new stepparent. It is important that the child feels comfortable with all adult figures involved in their life.
6. Effective conflict resolution
These situations involve continual change. New residences, new jobs, new mates, news schedules and the changes that appear as your child begins to grow older. It is important to adapt to these changes and work together in finding ways to make these new changes work. It is highly suggested that parents have a mediation clause that helps them use a mediator to resolve conflicts when they arise.
Remembering that co-parenting takes a lot of work and effort is important when going into the agreement. Both parents need to always keep the children’s best interest in mind when it comes to making decisions.