Co-Parenting or divorcing parents often struggle with maintaining a sense of balance and a normal life for their children. Usually both parents want to be involved in decisions regarding their children, and neither parent wants to feel disposable. Joint custody is one solution to that problem. There are strategies that parent can use to effectively co-parent their children after a divorce.
Shared Custody Guidelines
To make shared custody work effectively, parents must first consider their commitment and motivation to making it work. Parents should also consider their children’s needs and personalities when planning co-parenting. Financial situations, or the affordability of maintaining two primary households, are a large consideration as well.
Parents must also maintain a civil, business-like demeanor in implementing and maintaining the shared custody arrangement. Parents should be very careful not to undermine one another, regardless of their feelings. They should always be supportive of one another and the decisions they collectively made regarding the children and the co-parenting arrangement.
Physical joint custody works more effectively when the parents live in relatively close proximity. It is more effective if both parents can afford the expense of maintaining two households as primary residences for their children.
Key to effective co-parenting is staying kid-focused and making the welfare of the children the ultimate goal in the arrangement. Parents should never put their children in the middle of disagreements. Above all, parents should never use their children as messengers.
Resources for Effective Joint Custody
Parents who maintain open lines of communication and a civil demeanor with one another better assure effective shared custody. If communication or civility becomes difficult, there is a website that offers communication services between shared custodial parents.
Parents can develop a better joint custody agreement if they first consult with divorce mediators who are specially trained to help parents keep communication business-like and civil. This better assures a more effective agreement. A sample of one type of co-parenting agreement can be viewed on the website of a divorce and family law expert’s website.
Tools, such as calendars, expense tracking, virtual visitation, shared photos, and more can be accessed at a website designed to help parents navigate the waters of shared custody.
In conclusion, research indicates that there are many strategies that parents can employ to effectively co-parent after divorce. There are also many resources that parents can access to help them negotiate an effective joint custody arrangement and to help them maintain civil, open, and honest communication with their ex spouses throughout the co-parenting experience.