Couples who are divorcing have to work out many issues, but the most important issue they may have is child custody. This is an area that can turn a friendly divorce into a contentious one very quickly. But that is one of the worst directions that divorcing parents can go in. Divorce is difficult enough for children, but when their parents are fighting over them all the time, it can have a serious emotional impact on them. Many co-parents who are divorcing often find it helpful to attend family therapy sessions to avoid just this kind of turmoil and learn to work together. In the event that you need legal advice regarding co-parenting, do not hesitate to contact experienced family lawyers Phoenix AZ relies on to ensure your case goes smoothly.
Ideally, if parents can get along, then there are a few different co-parenting options which have emerged over the past few years that are quite different than the traditional custody arrangements.
Most couples who divorce establish their own homes and the children spend time with each parent in the parent’s home. So it is the child who is constantly in a state of movement, going from one house to another. They have two different bedrooms, two different groups of toys, two different groups of clothes, etc. Although this has been the traditional arrangement, many child therapists think that this is actually hard on children because they are constantly splitting their time between two homes. This has led to many parents setting up the bird nesting arrangement.
Instead of the child dividing their time between two homes, the child lives in one home and it is the parents who take turns staying at the home with the child. This home is called the “nest.” While one parent is at the nest with the child, the other parent is at their own home. And then, depending on the schedule they have set up, they switch off. This can be an expensive arrangement because it requires three homes: one home that is the nest and homes for each of the parents.
Another alternative that is becoming more popular is for parents to continue to live together after the divorce in order to share parenting responsibilities. This type of arrangement does require a high degree of being able to get along with each other since you will still be living under the same roof. It would definitely not work for co-parents who do not get along, but for those who do, it can turn out to be an affordable alternative that allows the child to stay in one home and not have to split his or her time between two homes.
On the other end of the spectrum are parenting plans for co-parents who just do not get along. This could be because one or both of them cannot work with the other parent. In situations like this, parallel parenting may be the best course of action. With parallel parenting, parents learn to treat each other and their parenting responsibilities as if it is a business arrangement. When the co-parents have to communicate with each other, they use very neutral language and only discuss issues that involve the child’s needs. If the parents are unable to communicate with each other that way without having a confrontation, then they can designate a third-party who they can communicate through.
Thank you to Hildebrand Law for providing insight on co-parenting.