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Successful Co-Parenting in Divorced Families

Co-parenting is happens after a divorce when both parents seek to remain active and involved in the lives of their children, even though their family is no longer together as before. Both parents share responsibility for the children while remaining in separate households.

Benefits of Co-Parenting After Divorce

The adjustment after a divorce can be challenging. Typically in divorce, each parent immediately becomes a single parent, each caring for the children separately. Co-parenting agreements ensure that both the parents and the children do not have to adjust to life as a single person and a single parent.

Co-parenting arrangements allow children to:

  • Adapt to the divorce better
  • Have less long-term negative side effects
  • Feel secure in their family's relationship
  • Have a model for handling conflict

There may be a little confusion on the parent's relationship, but that can easily be clear up with regular communication on the matter.

Ways to Consistently Co-Parent Your Children

Consistency in co-parenting is one of the ways that both parents can be successful in their arrangement. Consistency does not mean that both parents use the same parenting style, but rather that routines align with one another. This will help for children know what to expect when they stay with either parent.

Ways to collaborate include between parents include:

  • Schedules. Things such as television, meal, and homework time should be decided on by both parents and stuck to when the child is with them.
  • Bedtime. Consistent bedtime and curfew can ensure the child is prepared for the next day in the same way.
  • Transitions. Drop off and pick up times should remain the same and the children should know what to expect when going to each parent's house to ease anxiety.
  • Consequences. It would be unfair for one parent to inflict a harsher punishment than the other for the same misbehavior.
  • Rules. Knowing the house rules of the other parent can allow the parent's to rest when the child is not with them.
  • Routine. Consistent expectations build self-discipline. Make sure that the child knows what to expect each day from each parent.

Co-parenting is not easy to do, but for divorced families, it can create the best scenario for involved children. The children also have a great model of behavior and conflict-resolution.