Parenting children with your ex-spouse when you're divorced is stressful. However, the benefit of shared parenting is often the best thing for your children. Shared parenting may not be ideal at first, but it allows both parents the ability to maintain a strong relationship with their kids.
The benefits of shared parenting
While not everyone agrees that shared parenting, which involves joint physical custody, is the best idea, recent studies have found that having time with both parents is truly better for children in the majority of cases. Among the benefits offered by shared parenting are:
- Keeping kids happier and healthier in most cases
- Giving both parents opportunity to see their children equally
- Helping children bond with each parent
- Letting parents be more involved in the lives of their children
Tips to make co-parenting easier
When parents decide to practice shared parenting, or when a judge orders a shared parenting arrangement, there are ways to make the process easier while everyone gets used to the new arrangement. These include:
- Having a written agreement and a calendar that is followed so there is no confusion about who has the children during what days, weeks or months of the year.
- Planning around schooling, such as living in the same school district or getting a waiver if one parent is outside the district.
- Remembering to put the children first, even when that feels difficult or the other parent is not cooperating.
- Ensuring that the family members of the other parent are included if possible, and that any specific exclusions for valid reasons are agreed upon and in writing.
It will take time to adjust after a divorce, but shared parenting can help children stay close to both parents. By working with the right attorney throughout your divorce proceedings, you can make shared parenting arrangements that work for you, your spouse, and your children.