Divorce isn’t easy on anyone, but children often suffer the most in the dissolution of a marriage. Your Colorado child custody attorney can help you understand the laws regarding custody in Colorado. One viable option for some parents is co-parenting; if you are considering a divorce and looking for ways to make the transition easier on your children, co-parenting may be a good option.
What Is Co-Parenting?
For a long time, judges tended to assume that the children of divorcing spouses, especially the very young, would be better off with the mother. Known as the Tender Years Doctrine, it has been widely used since the 19th century. Courts across the country have started ruling that the Tender Years Doctrine is unfair to the fathers, so it has recently begun to be replaced by the concept of co-parenting.
Co-parenting is when two people who are divorced still share parental responsibilities. It is referred to as the Best Interests of the Child Doctrine because of the belief that children have healthier childhoods if they can spend equal amounts of time with each parent. Co-parenting is designed so that the child does not have to have two completely different lives with each parent, and can have a more unified childhood. Though for some people it can be a good option, it is not the ideal choice for all families. Less amicable family dynamics and circumstances can make this a more harmful situation for the child. Whether this is the right option or not depends on many factors. These are some of the benefits and disadvantages that are possible in a co-parenting situation.
Pros of Co-Parenting
The major benefit of co-parenting is that the child can have interaction, access, and a relationship with each parent even after they divorce. Having regular contact with both parents can give the child a more unified feeling, and strengthen the sense that both parents still love them. Co-parenting also reminds a child that their parents can work together, which has been proven to lead to a healthier outlook.
Co-parenting also gives the child more financial support. There is an endless list of expenses required to meet a child needs, including education, medical care, and many others. Both parents play a more active role meeting the child’s needs in a co-parenting situation.
There are also benefits for the parents in a co-parenting situation. Raising a child can be extremely stressful, and it is often easier to do with another person, even if you are divorced. Having both parents sharing the child’s care can reduce the stress and pressure felt by each parent.
Cons of Co-Parenting
After a divorce, one person usually moves out of the family home. Co-parenting can be difficult if the parents live far apart. It will take extra coordinating with driving time and multiple other factors. Constantly traveling back and forth can be exhausting for both the child and the parents.
In a co-parenting situation, jealousy can quickly arise. If the child develops a closer relationship with one parent, the other could become frustrated or upset, causing extra drama and tension for the child and the parents.
Jealousy can also be a factor if the child grows more fond of one situation over the other. If one of the parents feels like the child prefers being in the other’s home, they could become jealous.
Learn If Co-Parenting Is Right for You
There are many options for parents after a divorce in Colorado. Co-parenting is not always the best decision for you or your child. If you need help understanding the legal ramifications of your choices, discuss your choices with a knowledgeable divorce attorney.