Parenting issues are paramount when moms and dads divorce. Deciding where Sally and Johnny spend holidays and weekends can quickly become the most hotly contested issue in an already contentious situation. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you are involved in a custody battle, spend some time thinking about whether cooperative parenting can work for you, your ex-spouse and, especially, for your children.
What is cooperative parenting?
The name says it all. Also called co-parenting, this is a situation where parents cooperate about their children’s time, money, education, healthcare decisions, and other important issues. To make it work, parents need to ask themselves the following questions:
Can we focus on what’s best for our children?
This may require putting aside your personal feeling about your co-parent. You may have to ignore everything that caused the end of your marriage. The divorce is not your children’s fault and they should not have to suffer.
If you are unable to put your children’s best interests first, the courts will do it for you.
Can we put together a parenting plan that works?
This may require both parties to give a little. Each parent may have specific ideas about how they want their children to be raised. Both parents, in a perfect world, want to spend lots of quality time with their kids. Compromise may be necessary.
Think about your children’s best interests – not yours – while putting together a cooperative parenting plan. The results could surprise you.
Are we able to communicate about parenting issues?
Not just any communication, but communication without acrimony. No accusations, no “you always” and “you never” statements.
Respect is critical for effective communication. Even if you don’t like your ex-spouse (which is likely because, let’s face it, you do want a divorce), consider their feelings and schedules while negotiating your plan. Avoid badmouthing your ex-spouse in front of the kids. In fact, don’t think of him or her as your ‘ex-spouse’ – but as your children’s other parent. Since the parent-child relationship is vital to your child, shouldn’t you try to preserve it?
Will Cooperative Parenting Work for You?
Kids generally benefit when parents work together, even when separated by divorce. Consider cooperative parenting when working on your parenting plan.
Talk to an experienced California divorce attorney today. Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.
Please call us at 415-293-8314 to discuss your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger assist clients with divorce matters in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Diego, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.