A divorce is difficult for children and adults alike. Co-parenting is one thing you may not have been considering, but there is a good reason to reconsider. Yes, you'll have to work well with your spouse, which might be the last thing on your mind, but, for the benefit of your child, this could be the best way to move forward.
Co-parenting has its benefits for children. It means your child sees you and his or her other parent approximately equally. It means fathers and mothers both spend time with their children in formative years and build bonds that hold their relationships together.
Does co-parenting work for everyone?
Of course not. There are reasons why co-parenting may not work, especially in cases of domestic abuse or violence. However, on the whole, co-parenting works in almost every other situation. The primary issue tends to be with parents who can't get along, but with mediation and patience, a good parenting plan and listening to your instincts, co-parenting can work out well for everyone involved.
Is joint custody hard on children?
Research has actually shown that children who spend time with both parents do better socially and academically as they grow. Instead of dealing with issues of abandonment or concerns about when they'll see their parents again, these children are still raised by their parents together, albeit in different circumstances. Children raised by two parents, even if separated, who work together in their children's best interests emerge from divorces with fewer psychological symptoms. They watch as their parents learn to cooperate, and they discover that even uncomfortable situations can work out in the end.
Every situation is different, so those looking into custody arrangements need to be clear about what they expect. Shared custody can work, and it can help your child adjust beautifully.