Co-parenting: Working together in the best interest of the children
Keeping focused on the children and their best interests is helpful when navigating difficult waters. The benefits of co-parenting are good for the parents and the children. A stable, and reasonably predictable environment may put children and their parents at ease. Being strong but reasonable is worth it and someday your children may thank you.
If you are preparing for or going through divorce, the child custody and visitation arrangements may be quite different from that what you may have experienced as a child of divorce or someone with friends whose parents were divorced. Nowadays, there about as many time, place and parenting arrangement details as you could imagine. In some cases, the parties can reach an agreement out of court, on who will be the primary or sole conservator, otherwise called the custodial parent, and how the visitation, called possession and access, will be allocated. To learn more about creative custody arrangements, listen to:
Creative Custody and Possession Schedules in Texas, with Mark Scroggins.
When parents as former spouses work together on parenting decisions and on agreeable basis, this generally referred to as co-parenting. There are many sources of information about co-parenting. What may work for some, may not for others, but the following pointers are helpful in looking at co-parenting in the best interests of the children.
Keeping focused on the children and their best interests is helpful when navigating difficult waters.
The courts use what is called, the best interests of the children, standard when reviewing and accepting agreed parenting plans and make rulings on the care and custody of children when the parties cannot reach an agreement. While it is important to maintain a proper role as a parent, maintaining a focus on the children is what is ultimately important. It is not always easy to co-parent with a spouse, with whom for obvious reasons, you may not like or agree. Always remember that children are very observant. Whether they act out in response is secondary to the concern that they are experiencing preventable negativity they could carry with them in the future.
How feasible are the elements of co-parenting? It really depends on the parents.
Feasibility can be a function of flexibility. The more willing you may be to creative and flexible, the better you may be able to co-parent. For example, consider picking up and dropping off the children at school or for periods of visitation with the other parent. Where you may compromise on the time or location for exchanging the children, your former spouse may make other concessions in your favor. Remember, the best plans do not always work out, and the co-parenting plan may need to be modified.
The benefits of co-parenting are good for the parents and the children.
When you and your former spouse try to work together for the benefit of the children, you generally have happier children. Divorce is a significant life changing event. The ages and maturity levels among children can be significant factors in how you approach co-parenting and measure the response of the children. When children have positive relationships with both parents and healthy co-parenting arrangements, there is a decreased risk of parental alienation. Children who feel safe when their emotional and physical needs are met may be more likely to develop positive relationships with others and perform well at tasks and in school.
A stable, and reasonably predictable environment may put children and their parents at ease. People generally do not prefer uncertainty. It may take some work to get used to a co-parenting routine and to be flexible in handling any bumps or curves in the road. As always, as time passes, even high conflict situations can be reduced and resolved. Being strong but reasonable is worth it and someday your children may thank you.
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Mark Scroggins, along with the team at
Scroggins Family Law represents clients in a variety of divorce and family law matters.
At Scroggins Family Law, we have more than 24 years of experience with family law cases in Dallas, Collin and Denton Counties. When you retain our firm, you can trust that your case is in the hands of a highly skilled, dedicated professional. we understand the unique challenges of a high value divorce case, and more importantly, have the knowledge and experience you need on your side. Call us today, (214) 469-3100, to learn more about Texas divorce and family law.
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