While there will likely be bumps along the way, there are things that people can do to help ensure the success of their co-parenting arrangements.
In 2011, the most recent year with reported statistics, the divorce rate in Connecticut was 4.8 for every 1,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When couples who share children make the difficult decision to split, they must agree on how they will raise their kids apart. Recognizing that children benefit from having a relationship with both parents, more people are opting to co-parent. In light of divorces, hurt feelings and other factors, however, making co-parenting work can sometimes be a challenge.
Commit to communication
Whether they are living together or not, communication between parents is often vital to the child rearing process. It is important for the adults and primary caregivers in a child's life to know what is going on with him or her. Therefore, it is essential to any co-parenting arrangement that people commit to communicate with each other. Parents should regularly talk and discuss their children's struggles, successes and any important changes in their lives.
Create consistent rules
Sometimes, people's parenting styles may have always differed, and in other cases parents may relax the rules during or after a divorce in an effort to make it easier on their children. However, children need and crave stability, even if they do not realize it. Thus, establishing the same set of rules for both households may help provide that consistency and help prevent some behavioral issues.
It is to be expected that after two people decide to end their marriage, they may be hurt or harbor feelings of animosity toward each other. This can be an issue, however, when it comes to co-parenting. When children are exposed to significant, ongoing conflict between their parents, Scientific American reports that they may have issues adjusting to a divorce. As such, it is advisable for people to discuss contentious topics while the children are not around and refrain talking poorly about their children's other parents. This may help people avoid making their kids feel as though they have to choose a side.
Be prepared for bumps
Even for divorced couples who get along, there may be bumps along the way when people make the decision to co-parent. When people have not had to deal with conflicts or issues regarding their children, it may be difficult for them to find a middle ground. By recognizing that shared parenting will be a challenge, it may help people to make the adjustments and accommodations necessary to make the arrangement work.
Seeking legal assistance
Divorces and the potential for child custody disputes in Connecticut may be difficult for all who are involved. However, it is often the children who have no choice in such matters who are hit the hardest. In order to help put their children's needs first and avoid conflicts, it benefits parents to obtain experienced and compassionate legal counsel. At Broder & Orland LLC, we help our clients negotiate a workable co-parenting arrangement and attentively guide them through the legal processes.