While marriage is supposed to be the cord linking two souls, sometimes the cord needs to be cut. It’s not uncommon to see couples, even after years of being together, decide that their relationship has deteriorated beyond repair. They decide to get a divorce, which can have some serious implications if it involves a child. The effect on children depends upon how the parents handle the divorce litigation.
Given the high divorce rates in the US, child custody lawyers play a significant role in settling issues. Even in states such as New York, where the divorce rate is 4.97%, Albany child custody lawyers say they are dealing with a multitude of cases every year. But there’s one way in which divorcing parents can still rear kids in a healthy fashion, and that’s co-parenting.
What is Co-Parenting?
Co-parenting is a form of parenting relationship in which the two parents are not involved romantically with each other, but assume the joint responsibility of the child. It can be described as any two people jointly raising a kid, irrespective of whether or not they are biological parents. But, in most cases, co-parenting comes after a divorce, separation or a breakup involving a child.
Social scientists prescribe several do’s and don’ts of co-parenting. But open communication, patience, and empathy are prevalent requirements for a successful co-parenting relationship. Both parents have to set aside their personal differences and focus on their child’s development. The relationship has been a matter of debate. But, like any other relationship, co-parenting also has a few advantages and disadvantages.
Benefits of Co-Parenting
Stability: Kids in a co-parenting setup experience consistency in expectations, communication, and schedules from co-parents, which makes them feel stable and safe. As such, they are better armed to face overwhelming life situations.
Less parentification: A divorce can cause children to assume the responsibility of providing emotional support to parents. But a co-parenting relationship spares children from such emotional stress and doesn’t parentify them.
Conflict resolution: Co-parenting gives kids a chance to learn by example. They watch and learn about relationships and conflict resolution. They learn how to cooperate with others even during undesirable situations.
Disadvantages of Co-Parenting
The experts suggest that it could be challenging for kids to adjust to different lifestyles of both parents. As such, they tend to pick favorites later on depending upon how much they are able to adjust to each parent’s life.
Conflicting schedules: Working co-parents may find it difficult to make adjustments in their schedules according to their partners. They have to assume the joint responsibility of child rearing by making changes in their professional schedules, which are usually packed.
Disputes: Some conflicting views may also arise between parents, which makes it difficult for kids to cope. Such disputes surrounding major life decisions may often lead to choice-making situations for kids and can potentially traumatize them.
Contact an Albany Child Custody Lawyer for Co-Parenting Advice
While co-parenting has many advantages, it isn’t always the best option for you and your children. Consult with an experienced child custody lawyer to help determine what your best strategy will be to meet your family law case goals moving forward.