Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Co-parenting enables children to reap the benefits of being raised by both parents in the event of a divorce. The archaic belief that custody should be awarded to the mother is no longer viewed as the standard by the courts. Today, it is widely acknowledged that fathers are just as qualified to raise children as mothers. Therefore, to benefit the children and save the divorcing couple thousands of dollars in litigation fees, many divorce lawyers encourage their clients to settle custody issues by agreeing to joint custody, or co-parenting.
Frequently, co-parenting plans will divide the time children spend with each parent relatively equally, providing each parent an opportunity to raise their children and enjoy spending large amounts of time with them as they grow up.
In order for a co-parenting arrangement to work, certain factors must exist:
- Both parents must live close to each other, either in the same school district or close enough so that the children may be easily transported to school from either parent's house. This will also allow children to participate in extra-curricular activities and enjoy social time with their friends, regardless of which home they are staying in.
- Both parents must be able to agree on important parenting decisions concerning schooling, extra-curricular activities, religious training and upbringing, and medical care. Both parents must be willing to attend parent/teacher conferences, sporting events, and other school sponsored events. Parents must also be able to agree on disciplinary measures when necessary.
- Holidays and school vacation time will generally be shared, where appropriate, or alternated from year to year.
- Each parent must provide financial support proportional to his or her income. Since co-parenting arrangements generally provide each parent with relatively equal time with the children, time shouldn't be a major factor in allocating child support.
Ultimately, the people who benefit most from a co-parenting arrangement are your children. They will receive all of the emotional and intellectual support that each parent can provide, which can be a salvation for them in the midst of a traumatic divorce.