Dear Mr. Dad: Last week you wrote about co-parenting strategies. But you made it sound like it’s an arrangement that works for everyone. I’m a divorce lawyer and I can assure that it doesn’t. Please explain to your readers why parents would want to co-parent in the first place, as well as when it’s likely to be successful and when it’s not.
A: The most compelling argument for co-parenting is that it’s by far the best option for everyone.
- Parents like it. Former couples who share physical custody of their children fight less and are generally happier with their custody arrangements.
- Judges like it. Divorced co-parents are about half as likely as sole-custody parents to go back to court to settle their disputes.
- Kids like it. Because co-parenting exes each have a significant role in their children’s life, kids get the benefit of spending time with both parents. A parental breakup can make children feel frightened, out of control and, unloved. And if one parent disappears—or almost disappears—those feelings get worse.
- It nearly eliminates child-support default. Parents (dads or moms) with shared physical custody keep in much closer contact with their children than those who don’t share custody. As a rule, people who see their children pay their child support.
Co-parenting Works When …
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