Divorcing parents are in a complicated position. On the one hand, they want what is best for their child, which could mean spending time with both parents. On the other hand, many want to spend as much time with their child as possible, especially when they have strong negative feelings about the other parent. This dynamic can make a shared custody arrangement difficult to consider.
However, when you take a step back to consider the reality of sharing custody after divorce, you could realize that there are several benefits for you and your children.
Benefits of sharing custody
- Your kids get to be with both parents. Numerous studies have shown that children benefit in many ways when they have relationships with both parents after divorce if both parents can provide a safe, loving environment for a child.
- Parents get a break from parenting to explore individual interests and activities. Being a parent is stressful; getting a little break every once in awhile gives parents space to time to do what they want to do.
- Parents can divide their duties and provide more support for a child. For instance, if one parent cannot pick up a child from school or attend a child’s soccer game, the other parent may be able to do so.
- It can teach children how to solve difficult problems. We may tell our children how valuable it is to be respectful in conflict and problem-solve creatively, but demonstrating it to them by co-parenting can be incredibly effective.
- There can be less stress on everyone. Having another parent actively in the picture can be very reassuring for you and your children. It provides stability and predictability, and it balances the financial contributions. Further, people like teachers, doctors and parents of your child’s friends can run into fewer conflicts when interacting with co-parents.
Making it work together
If you and your ex will share custody of your children, there will be obstacles along the way. However, try to remember the benefits of this arrangement and focus on moving past complications and disagreements positively.
For more suggestions on how parents can work together for the good of their children, you can read this guide for Texas co-parents.