When you make the choice to divorce, you probably wonder what this will mean for your children. Will they make it through this difficult process without major emotional wounds? Can you protect the relationship you have with your kids? These are all important questions, and for some Maryland parents, the answer lies in co-parenting.
Co-parenting is a type of custodial relationship that involves both parents working together to raise their children after divorce. This means you and your ex-spouse would share parenting time and the ability to make decisions on behalf of your children. As you can imagine, this can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you do not get along. You should not write this option off, however, because it is possible to make a difficult co-parenting relationship work.
Practical ways to make it work better
Working together after divorce may seem like an impossible task. After all, you got a divorce because you no longer wanted to be with your spouse. Co-parenting will require a lot of contact, and in order to be successful at this arrangement, you will have to be willing to set aside your temporary feelings for the benefit of your children.
One of the main benefits to choosing this type of custody plan is that it will allow your kids to maintain a strong relationship with both of you — something that is critical for emotional and mental health. It can also provide stability, a good schedule and security for the younger members of the family.
Communication is key
The only way to make a co-parenting relationship work well is to communicate. This means talking with each other regularly and having a willingness to discuss the needs of your kids. Again, you don’t have to like each other to maintain a respectful partnership for the sake of the children.
It may also be beneficial to have a system in place by which you and your ex-spouse can work through difficulties and disagreements that may arise. No arrangement will be perfect, and you will probably have to work through problems from time to time.
Start with a good foundation
You cannot co-parent responsibly if you do not have a good custody order. The terminology of your parenting plan matters, and you do not want to agree to anything without first discussing your needs and objectives with an experienced family law attorney.