Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Four Secrets of Successful Co-Parents

When a couple with children divorces, they have options regarding how they can handle the issue of the daily care and custody of their children. While sole custody by one parent with visitation by the other was the standard approach to custody for many years, more and more couples are choosing shared custody arrangements, where each parent spends roughly the same amount of time with their children. Parents who have experience with shared custody agreements can attest to the fact that while co-parenting their children is not always easy, it is so very worth it. Here are four ways that you can prepare yourself for a successful co-parenting experience.

One of the most important things that occurs in families where divorced parents successfully share custody of their children can be one of the most difficult things to do. Parents who enjoy relatively smooth co-parenting relationships consistently choose to take the high road by refraining from speaking poorly about their children’s other parent. Research has consistently confirmed that hearing negative messages about a parent can damage a child. Children love both of their parents, and because of this, they often internalize the criticism that they hear about a person whom they hold in high regard as a negative message about themselves. It is only natural to have negative feelings about your former spouse from time to time, but there are plenty of ways to work through those feelings either on your own or with other adults in ways that will not reach your children’s ears or eyes.

A carefully planned parenting schedule is another essential ingredient in a successful co-parenting experience. Creating a parenting schedule consists of so much more than dividing up the days and times that each of you will care for your children. The best parenting schedules acknowledge the individual needs and desires of both parents and all of the children. Parents should consider their work schedules, as well as their involvement in any personal or community activities that are important to them. For the children, consider their ages and temperaments, as well as their school schedule and extracurricular activities. An example of how temperament can factor into a thoughtfully crafted parenting schedule is recognizing when one or more of the children have difficulty with frequent transitions and trying, as much as possible, to keep parenting time evenly distributed while minimizing the amount of transitions that happen each week.

A third thing that makes co-parenting arrangements more workable is good communication. Contrary to what some people may think, the ability of former spouses is not a matter of you either have it or you don’t. Good communication can happen even in situations where there has been a lot of conflict, if the parties establish rules and methods for communicating for each other and then abide by them. Emotionally charged phone conversations are not required, when families have many tools at their disposal for sharing calendar and schedule information and for exchanging messages.

A fourth factor which is present in families whose shared custody arrangements work for everyone’s benefit is sensitivity to the children’s feelings. Parents who encourage their children to talk to them about their feelings about the divorce and then listen intently when those feelings are shared often find ways to connect meaningfully with their children as they help them to develop creative solutions to any problems that they may be experiencing.

Co-parenting is not always easy, but it is possible. Your Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to pursue a shared custody arrangement that will work well for your family. To learn more about how Jackson area divorce attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you, call our office today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Four Secrets of Successful Co-Parents
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Mississippi Divorce Attorney discusses tips for successful co-parenting.

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