Benefits of Co-Parenting

Many parents, after a divorce, find it difficult to speak to their former spouse, much less maintain a civil and ongoing relationship for the sake of their shared children. However, if you want your children to be well-rounded and emotionally stable individuals post divorce, that is exactly what you need to do. Co-parenting is not just a term used to describe the act of sharing parenting responsibilities with your former spouse post-divorce; it is a term used to describe the act of working together to raise your children as seamlessly as possible despite the fact that you are now living in two separate households. At Clark Law Group, our Dallas child custody lawyers strongly encourage parents to overcome their differences for the sake of their children.

Why Co-Parenting is Better

Once upon a time, the family court system truly believed that a child was better off living solely with his or her mother until the age of 12. This was referred to as the tender years doctrine, and it left many dads without any say in how their children were raised and unable to establish a healthy relationship with them. However, it also dictated that dads were to be financially responsible for the children, despite their lack of parenting time. Obviously, the court system has done away with the tender years doctrine, and now co-parenting is presumed to be in the best interests of the child.
Co-parenting is thought to encourage a child’s happiness, mental and emotional health, and security by enabling both parents to make important decisions regarding the child, as well as allowing both parents to have equal time with the child. Additionally, co-parenting is believed to provide the child with the following benefits following a divorce:

Security

Following a divorce, children have a hard time transitioning from a single household to two households. They may also feel as if their lives are turned upside down and that they may be to blame. To squash those negative feelings, you and your former spouse should work together to provide the love and support your child or children need at this difficult time in their life by showing them that despite the divorce, your shared love for them will never go away, and you will always be there for them.

Consistency

When co-parenting, you and your former spouse should establish similar house rules and do your best to provide a consistent framework in both homes. This will help your children transition more easily from a single household to two separate ones. For instance, it can be confusing for a child if Mom makes them go to bed at 8:30 pm on school nights but Dad lets them stay up until 10:00 pm every night. Co-parenting is about deciding what is best for the child and creating two separate environments that foster those ideals.

Role-Modeling

Children learn much more from their parents than how to tie their shoes and say their ABCs; they also learn how to react to certain situations based on how their parents react to similar ones. If your kids see you work through your divorce with composure and maturity, it will teach them how to handle and resolve conflict in a similar fashion. On the other hand, if they see you lash out at the other parent, hear you name-calling, and see the two of you fight on a regular basis, their risk of being emotionally ill-equipped to handle conflict in a healthy way significantly increases.

Reach Out to a Dallas Child Custody Lawyer

Co-parenting is never easy, but with time and consistent effort from both you and your former spouse, you can make it happen. If you are struggling with the idea of co-parenting, or if you simply need guidance during this difficult time in your life, reach out to the Dallas child custody attorneys at Clark Law Group. We can help you draft a custody order that establishes a healthy framework for your child and that will help you to more easily navigate parenting life post divorce. Call our family law firm at (214) 438-1152 to schedule a private consultation today.

(image courtesy of Aaron Burden)

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