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How to co-parent with your ex, part 1

Reaching a divorce agreement usually isn’t easy. Neither is reaching a custody arrangement. Indeed, custody arrangements are usually one of the most hotly contested issues in a divorce. If you are a parent who is divorced or in the process of divorcing, you know that it will have a major impact on your child’s life. No doubt, both you and your ex have put massive amounts of thought into how best to parent your child post-divorce.

One option for you and your spouse to co-parent your child. Perhaps your relationship with your spouse is still amicable; perhaps it is contentious. In both of these situations, it may be possible to put your differences aside and work together as co-parents for the good of your family.

Defining co-parenting

Co-parenting is sometimes difficult to define, because it means different things for different couples. No two families are alike, and co-parenting may look different for your family than it does for another. Generally, though, co-parenting is a means of parenting in which divorced spouses work together so that they can both be active in their child’s daily life.

Exceptions to co-parenting

There are, however, a few exceptions to co-parenting. There are some situations in which it is just not healthy or safe for a parent to be involved in a child’s life. This can apply to particularly acrimonious divorces, or to circumstances such as:

  • Child abuse
  • Kidnapping
  • Domestic violence
  • Emotional abuse
  • Addiction
  • Severe mental illness

How it benefits your child

It is no secret that emotionally healthy homes are crucial for child development. Co-parenting may have several benefits for your child, such as:

  • High self-esteem
  • A sense of security
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Witnessing healthy relationships
  • Mental and emotional health
  • Strong social development
  • Close bonds with both parents

These reasons should provide more than enough incentive to consider co-parenting with your spouse. To learn whether co-parenting is the right arrangement for you, you may wish to contact a family law attorney. In the second blog post for this series, we will go over some tips that can help you co-parent with your ex.

Tags:
  • Child Custody