Whether it is through childbirth or adoption, when a family is established in North Carolina, most have a clear image that family means remaining together as a unit. Because nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, it is more and more common for children to be raised in two households. Divorce and separation can be difficult, emotional and heated; however, the most likely result is that both parents will have to raise a child or children together. Thus, it is important to understand what it truly means to co-parent.
What is co-parenting?
A parent does not need to be divorced or separated to co-parent. It is important to note that when parents are together, they are co-parenting because they are working together to parent their children. When parents are together, each parent has a role and say in the daily life of their children. The same remains true, for the most part, when parents are no longer together.
But even when parents are together, they can have very different parenting philosophies, visions for their children’s future and expectations for them. Maybe this was a challenging component of their marriage; however, when these parents split, this can cause co-parenting to be especially difficult.
Putting the children first
Whether parents live together full time, spend some time apart or are living completely separate, co-parenting is about devising a schedule that focuses on the needs of the children while also considering the routines and day-to-day schedule of each parent. When parents are able to make a schedule work for them, the more likely they are to stick to it. This thereby generates consistency, which is imperative for the developing mind of a child and for giving one a peace of mind.
Unless it is a unique matter that results in one parent having primary custody and placement, co-parenting will be necessary for parents that are no longer together trough divorce or separation. It can be challenging for a parent to navigate these matters, as they likely have not encountered them before. Thus, it is important that they understand their rights and options when it comes to working through child custody matters. Please contact our law firm for more information.