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Why coparenting is important

While a divorce means the end of the marital relationship, it does not mean the end of the family unit. It is imperative that both parents work together to coparent with the best interests of the children in mind, no matter how the former partners may feel about each other. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. To be able to work with your ex-spouse successfully when it comes to the children, it's important to understand how positive co-parenting impacts the kids.

According to an article published in the Journal of Family Psychology, a positive coparenting relationship between both the mother and father has a direct effect on how involved the father is in the children's lives. This is important because children who have both parents involved in their lives may be better able to cope with the stressors and emotional issues that come along with a divorce or a breakup between nonmarried parents.

The study found that how healthy the relationship between the parents was prior to the dissolution was an indicator of how likely it was to end in a supporting coparenting relationship. However, this doesn't mean that those coming out of unhealthy relationships are doomed; it just means that parents in those situations may have to be more aware and work harder to achieve and maintain a positive coparenting relationship with their ex-spouses.

Sometimes, however, there's only so much you can do, and the other person just is not willing to cooperate in a healthy manner. In these situations, the decision-making involving the child may have to be done solely by the custodial parent and the courts involved in any disagreements or shared custody issues.

Source: Journal of Family Psychology, "Predictors of Supportive Coparenting After Relationship Dissolution Among At-Risk Parents," Claire M. Kamp Dush, Letitia E. Kotila, and Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan, accessed May. 12, 2015

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