As much as we might try to make our marriage succeed, sometimes it doesn’t work out, and divorce is the best option. When you have children and are going through a divorce, figuring things out with your ex-partner can become complicated and overwhelming. Many people try co-parenting, but it’s not always the best decision for everyone. Here’s what you need to consider when it comes to co-parenting.
What is co-parenting?
Co-parenting is a kind of relationship where the parents of a child, or children, are not romantically involved with each other, but they are jointly responsible for their children. In most cases, co-parenting comes after the dissolution of a marriage or relationship that produced children.
Benefits of Co-Parenting
If you aren’t sure about co-parenting with your ex-partner because of how your romantic relationship ended, it’s ok. It’s a learning process, but it can be beneficial for a few reasons.
- Less parentification
- Divorces are hard for everyone involved, even if all parties are amicable. Sometimes children feel like they need to step in to be a kind of “parent” to their parents and provide emotional support to help them get through this time. If you can show your children that you and your partner are getting along, then they are likely to feel better about it and feel less like they are caught in the middle.
- If you are on the same page with your ex-partner, your children will have much more stability and routine in their lives. This is because they will know the expectations from each parent, and that the rules for their life from each parent will be consistent
- Better conflict resolution
- While separating or divorcing was not the initial goal, this is an opportunity for your children to learn about dealing with conflict. If they see that their parents are dealing with a situation that isn’t ideal and do so with maturity and respect for each other, your children will probably handle conflicts in their own lives much better.
Drawbacks of Co-Parenting
As parents, we often want our children to benefit from having both their parents involved in their lives – even if the two of you didn’t work out romantically. Sometimes, however, co-parenting doesn’t make sense because of certain drawbacks. Here are a few examples.
- Do you and your spouse have significantly different ideas about raising your children (maybe this is why the relationship didn’t work out), and you just can’t agree about the rules and expectations for your children? If choices surrounding your children often lead to significant disputes or arguments, this can end up damaging your children’s view of you, your ex-spouse, or both.
- Conflicting schedules
- If one parent travels often or you just can’t make your schedules work out, then co-parenting may not be an option. With co-parenting, both parents have to assume the responsibilities of the child/children involved. If the work can’t be distributed evenly between both parents, perhaps another type of custody is best for your situation.
Contact Segal Law
Regardless of how you decide to parent your children after a divorce or separation, working with a good family lawyer and getting a plan in writing will help everyone stay on the same page. Contact Segal Law today if you need assistance navigating a family law issue, such as child access or custody.