With the national divorce rate at around 50 percent, married parents in Orange County should also note that roughly 40 percent of divorces involve children. The end of a marriage with children does not only mean acclimating to a post-divorce single-parent life, but also finding a way to address the needs of the children with your ex-spouse. There are added parenting challenges following a divorce, but divorced parents in a joint custody situation should consider the benefits a co-parenting relationship could provide.
While co-parenting is not for all divorced parents, it is a unique way to navigate parenting with an ex-spouse. Simply put, it occurs when parents are able to agree on the way they will raise their children in two homes post-divorce. This does not mean that disputes do not occur, but rather means that children are not put in the middle of things and parents cooperate in resolving their issues.
In a successful co-parenting situation, there are three important factors or tips to keep in mind. First, it is imperative that a parent does not bad mouth the other parent in front of the children. Next, disputes or major decisions should not be conducted in front of children, especially if they address child support and custody issues. Finally, children should not be put in the middle of things and used to carry messages back and forth from one parent to the other.
Co-parenting is not always easy, and it takes time for both parents and children to adjust to the situation. If you are having difficulties with co-parenting or are considering a co-parenting situation with your ex-spouse, it is important to understand what the custody method entails and ways you can get help with any issues that arise.
Source: The Orange County Register, "Co-parenting tips," Naveen Jonathan, Nov. 18, 2014