Co-parenting: Achieving a Working Relationship after Divorce
This is a guest post by: Dave Armstrong is a Barber, a proud father of two sons, and is the creator of authenticdads.com. He provides fresh perspectives on fatherhood, expectant father, divorce and single parenting. Fatherhood does come with instructions, and you just have to know where to find them.
Chances are, when a husband and wife are expecting, they communicate to each other about how they are going to parent their children. Expectant parents usually begin to develop a parenting plan consisting of important issues such as discipline, behavior expectations, and so on. I think this to be a big challenge considering the different ways each parent was brought up in their own childhood. Whether they agree or disagree on a proper plan they genuinely agree to support each other as a team. Communication in a marriage is so crucial, especially when it comes to parenting. So why is it so hard for a mom and dad were calling it quits on their marriage, maintain the same parenting plan after their divorce.
Family relationships don’t cease to exist when a couple ends their marriage. For the sake of their family, a mom and dad must continue to communicate with each other and be able to set aside their differences long enough to inspect the damage they both may have caused. Post-divorce is always difficult for the mere reason that financial and custodial obligations are set and must be given attention to. This is when shared parenting comes into the picture. Shared parenting is more commonly known as joint custody, were both parents shared custody over their children. Whether the parents agree on a shared parenting plan or one has been court-appointed, the well-being of the children should be the main concern. When making his plan it should include all the important factors that will help the kids adjust to the complicated and awkward circumstances. Of course it will include how much time the child will spend with one’s mom or dad and extended family. Other arrangements such as who the child will live with and what school he or she will attend. Financial support (child’s support) is usually awarded to the custodial parent at this time. Other visitation requirements may also be included in the plan at this time vacation plans as well as holidays are also included here, along with social activities and school functions.
Co-operative parenting which is more commonly referred to as co-parenting-means exactly that. The behavior a mom and dad have towards each other greatly affect how well a child will adapt to a new family structure. Preserving a relationship with the children needs sacrifice from both parents. It is so easy for parents to get so engrossed with their own emotional pain and not realize their responsibilities as separate parents. Generally a co-parenting plan made by the parents is not about whom amongst them gets to make the most value decisions with their children’s welfare or to prove who has more claims. It is about the welfare of the children first and foremost. This plan serves as the understanding of both parties (parents) in order to avoid any misunderstandings that will involve their children. Although the situation may be conflicting we have to realize our responsibilities as parent should never be set aside.
The goal to achieving a working (co-parenting) relationship means focusing on common goals and interests that meet the needs of your children. The goal must be intact: to meet your children’s needs at all times. Such needs include good education, healthcare, and most important of all, being physically there for the children. Co-parenting with an ex-spouse may be awkward and complicated at first, but things will improve including other facets such as parental obligations, communication, and finances if your focus remains on a businesslike approach. This is a new relationship, uncharted territory for many parents. Unresolved issues from the past and habitual patterns are going to rear their ugly heads. The aim in co-parenting is to keep to active parents in a child’s life and creating a more relaxed atmosphere that will allow the children to adjust more effectively to the separate households.