During a separation or following a divorce, sharing custody of your children can be a difficult change for everyone involved.
Terminology like split custody or joint custody can sometimes be contentious or divisionary. A simple shift in language can make a difference in how you approach your new parenting situation.
The need for cooperation
Marital separation or divorce will probably be one of the most stressful things you will go through in your life, but you are not the only one feeling the effects. Children can experience significant stress during these times, as well. It is important to take utmost care in order to make children feel safe and valued during this process.
It is easy to let emotions take over during visitation and custody negotiations. In most cases, however, the best interest of the child means allowing time with both parents.
The importance of labels
Legal terminology has its place, but there are times when it can invoke combative feelings. The term co-parenting means working together to raise a child. Introducing this word into contextual everyday conversations, as opposed to visitation or custody, puts the focus on parenting and brings a reminder of cooperation and collaboration.
It emphasizes the love that the two of you share for your children and serves as a reminder that, despite hardships in the marriage or relationship, the goal remains the same – to raise your children as best you can.
Maintaining a healthy cooperative relationship between co-parents will not always be easy, but it will always be worth it for your children.