In many divorces, child custody is one of the most contested issues, resulting in costly and litigious court battles. However, this may not be the only choice for your family. If you want more control over what happens to your children, it is time to explore alternatives to a traditional custody arrangement, such as a co-parenting plan. Co-parenting may offer your family the ability to custom-tailor a custody arrangement that protects the best interests of your family.
Who can co-parent?
Any Texas family may consider the benefits of co-parenting after a divorce, but it is not the solution in every situation. You and the other parent of your children may be suited to a co-parenting plan if any of the following apply:
- Both parents are willing to have cooperative negotiations
- Both parents are committed to the best interests of the children
- Both parents are able to set aside personal emotions in order to have positive discussions
Parents do not have to agree on every issue or even like each other to make a co-parenting plan work. With an attitude of cooperation and a resolve to provide a continuity of lifestyle for your children, this could work for your family.
The benefits of cooperation between parents
Studies are clear on the benefits that co-parenting can provide for the children affected by a divorce. When the child custody plan allows children to maintain a strong relationship with both parents, it helps them adjust to life after divorce and transition smoothly. Effective co-parenting begins with a strong, carefully drafted plan, which should consider all of the following issues:
- School schedules
- Hand-off routine between parents
- Holidays and summer routines
- Special medical needs and considerations
- Parenting time
- Decision-making authority
- Religious and educational preferences
These are just some of the issues that you should consider as you draft your parenting plan, but these plans are not one-size-fits-all. One of the main benefits to a co-parenting plan is the ability to include considerations for any issue or concern that is unique to your family.
If co-parenting is right for your family, the children are not the only members who will enjoy the benefits of this cooperative approach to child custody. Co-parenting can also provide you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse the opportunity to avoid the stress of a complicated court battle and the costs associated with litigation. If you wish to explore this option, you may seek the experienced opinion of a family law attorney.