Your children have probably become accustomed to having both parents at home rearing them. When you find out that a divorce is in the cards, you and your ex will need to work together to come up with a child custody agreement that puts your children first. There are many ways that you can set this up, so you need to think carefully about each one before you make a decision.
The days of children only seeing one parent for a few days a month are long gone. Many child custody cases now include parenting time that is split fairly evenly between parents. The co-parenting model of child custody helps to make this happen, but it isn’t necessarily the best option for all divorces. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you agree to this parenting style.
What is co-parenting?
Co-parenting is a joint effort between you and your child’s other parent. Instead of having two distinctly different homes, both adults work together to come up with rules and guidelines that provide the child with consistency. This requires you and your ex to work closely together to come up with the rules. It also means that you will spend time with your ex at functions for the children and similar events.
Can we work that closely without many issues?
Since co-parenting requires you and your ex to work closely, you need to make sure this is possible. Sometimes, co-parenting won’t work. An example of this is when you are in the midst of a contentious divorce and can’t stand the sight of your ex. Just remember that how you handle the negotiations can set the tone for the future parenting relationship.
How will we work through disputes?
Make sure that you can come up with a plan for handling disputes because there are bound to be times when you and your ex don’t see things eye to eye. You also need to set the standard for what types of behavior are acceptable at functions for the children. Get all of this in writing now so that there aren’t any questions about what is going on in the future.
Can our children thrive with this parenting model?
You need to make sure that this is the best model for your children. You can’t focus on what is best for you and your ex. Your child has to be the focus of these decisions. Even if this is a challenge for you and your ex, it might truly be the best choice for your child.