Studies have shown that children who spend time with each of their parents do better socially, psychologically and academically. Those who are with each of their parents for at least 35% of the time have stronger relationships with both of them. For divorced parents in Arizona, the goal of co-parenting should be to move toward the highest good of the children. Among the most important keys to co-parenting are establishing clear boundaries and open communication, being consistent with rules, sticking to a schedule and maintaining respect.
Clear boundaries are required between the parents with regard to issues that don’t involve the children. Co-parenting is not a means to remain tied to the other parent; it is an arrangement to help the child in ways that sole custody often can’t accomplish. Open lines of communication might include texting, email, phone calls or other methods. The key is to have a way to communicate honestly with the other parent on issues involving the kids.
Consistency with household rules can be difficult to maintain in co-parenting situations because the parents each have their own homes, with their own rules. Co-parenting successfully sometimes requires that the parents agree on things like homework must be finished before TV time or bedtime is 9 o’clock. Consistent routines are important for children. The parents also must maintain respect for one another. This means not badmouthing the other parent, who is significant in the life and development of the child.
Parents who are divorcing in Arizona might want to seek the advice of a lawyer. A lawyer who has experience handling divorce cases may be able to help by developing a child custody schedule or arguing on behalf of the client during child support or child custody hearings. A lawyer might also identify and categorize assets for purposes of property division or draft and file the petition for divorce.