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What is Co-Parenting

Divorcing family trying to divide child custody

Not every divorce has to result in cutting off all communication between former spouses. Particularly where there are shared children, there may be good reasons to keep the lines of communication open and work together toward shared goals. While divorce is not the ideal situation for child-rearing, divorcing parents can work together to make the situation as positive for the children as possible. The term “co-parenting” has arisen in recent years, and while it is not possible for all divorced parties, it can be extremely beneficial for many families in the modern age. Read on to learn about co-parenting, and call a seasoned Englewood child custody and parental rights attorney for help with a New Jersey family law matter.

Defining Co-Parenting

Co-parenting is a relatively recent term that refers to a situation in which two parents who are not romantically involved assume joint responsibility for raising a child. While the term can refer to parties who were never romantically involved (such as friends), more commonly it refers to couples who were romantic partners but are no longer involved.

What Does Effective Co-Parenting Involve?

Co-parenting can be very beneficial for children of divorce. In a co-parenting arrangement, parents choose to put aside their personal feelings to develop a joint parenting plan focusing on the best interests of their children. Healthy co-parenting will involve open lines of communication between the parents, including working through issues, identifying problems, sharing mutual responsibility, and adhering to parental obligations. The parents are likely to have significant amounts of interaction, both publicly and privately, for the benefit of their children. For these reasons, co-parenting can be difficult to implement following a breakup or a divorce.

For co-parenting to work, both parents must be fully committed to the process. They must be willing and able to set aside personal animosity and differences. They must be willing to move beyond when certain situations arise, such as when one parent begins a new romantic relationship. It can be challenging.

The Benefits of Co-Parenting

While co-parenting can be a challenging prospect, for parents who are able to utilize the process fully, it offers many benefits for both the children and the parents. Children will benefit from more stability after the breakup, preventing some of the trauma that the shakeup of a divorce can cause. It also limits fights between the parents which can be difficult for a child to witness, especially when parents start to put the kids in the middle of the fight.

Co-parenting also allows the parents to work together to resolve any problems that arise in the children’s lives, such as social, educational, or medical issues. By working together, they alleviate some of the burdens of being a sole parent and avoid being blindsided when issues arise. Children are also less likely to become “parentified,” referring to when children feel the need to take the emotional burden and responsibility of “parenting their parent.” After a divorce, many children feel the need to “step up” and take care of the family; co-parenting alleviates the need for a child to take on more responsibility than they should need to handle at a young age.

Get Help With Your New Jersey Child Custody Matter

If you’re considering divorce in New Jersey or dealing with child support, child custody, property division, or other family law issues, contact the Englewood family law attorneys Herbert & Weiss at 201-440-6300.

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