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Shared custody: A better way to parent after divorce

No matter how amicable two Texas parents may be, divorce or separation can be difficult for the youngest members of the family. In order to alleviate unnecessary suffering and emotional duress for the children, some parents choose to avoid a lengthy court battle and work together on a parenting plan that is uniquely suited to their family.

If you and your spouse choose to co-parent, both parties must be able to set aside complex disputes and work together for the benefit of the children. This will not work if only one parent is committed to cooperation or parents cannot have constructive discussions and negotiations.

Why shared parenting is good for everyone

Joint custody or co-parenting offers many benefits for every member of the family. Some of the ways that this custody approach can benefit you, your spouse and your kids include:

  • Children who have strong relationships with both parents do better in school and are happier post-divorce.
  • Kids typically want to see both parents regularly, and shared parenting allows for this.
  • When parents work together during and after divorce, it sets a great example for their children.

Kids are not the only ones who can reap positive benefits from a non-adversarial approach to parenting after divorce. Both you and your spouse may find the following to be true:

  • You will save time and money by avoiding litigation.
  • A negotiated parenting plan is more sustainable than a court-ordered plan.
  • Working together on custody matters can alleviate a measure of stress from an already difficult process.

You have the right to make your parenting plan specific to your family. This effort allows you more control over the wording of the final order and ensures the protection of the needs and interests of your children above all else.

The elements of a strong parenting plan

If you are working on a parenting plan to co-parent or share joint custody, it is more involved than simply splitting all rights and responsibilities 50-50. In order for a plan to function well for your family long into the future, you would be wise to ensure that your plan carefully considers parenting time, school schedules, holiday visitation, decision making authority and many other aspects critical to your children's upbringing.

It is possible to both protect your parental rights and the needs of your children when you set aside difficult emotions and work with the other parent to provide a life for your kids that is stable, secure and happy.

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