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Co-parenting for the best interests of the children

When residents in Mississippi start a family the last thing on their mind is that they will be torn apart by divorce. While dissolution is often an unpleasant event, it is often a necessary step to take. In fact, roughly half of all marriages end in divorce. That means that the process impacts some children. Even when children are involved, a divorce must go on; however, parents are required to make major decisions, such as what type of custody arrangement will work best for everyone involved.

When parents are able to communicate effectively and collaborate during the divorce process, it is more likely that they will choose a co-parenting arrangement. This is especially true if a joint-custody plan is desired. A co-parenting relationship relies on teamwork and effective communication.

Depending on the age of the child or children involved, a co-parenting relationship can look very different from one family to the next. Nonetheless, initiating the process of going from one household to two households relies on being patient, noting the needs of the children and focusing on the best interests of the children.

For younger children, experts suggest that developing a schedule that follows a pattern is most helpful. Even if parents are flexible and willing to alter his or her schedules for each other, this could disrupt the new schedule they just became accustomed too. This could generate discomfort and even emotional disruptions.

While it is difficult to keep a set schedule for years at a time, keeping it fair may help limit the disruptions. However, parents must note the needed changes for a child as they age, allowing their co-parenting plan to modify with their child or children.

While divorce is not an easy time for anyone involved, it is an event that parents and child and work through. Those dealing with disputes relating to parenting-time or custody arrangements should understand that they have rights and options. An experienced attorney could help parents navigate these family law issues, helping them reach a timely resolution.

Source: WBUR.org, "'Two Homes, One Childhood': Co-Parenting After Divorce," Dec. 27, 2016

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