Although a divorcing couple agrees to end the legal relationship with one another, when there are children involved the relationship never really comes to an end. In some divorces, where the split has not been amicable, ex-spouses may have no interest in speaking to one another but, according to the Attorney General of Texas, shared parenting can be very beneficial for children after a divorce.
After the divorce, depending on the type of child custody arrangement Texas couples have created, the parents have to work together to raise their children. They have to make important decisions together and, depending on the visitation schedule, have to meet each other frequently. Co-parenting, or shared parenting, where both parents work as a team and raise their children even after their relationship is over, can help children get through the emotionally difficult time when their parents are no longer living together.
Communication is essential to shared parenting. Although it may be the last thing a divorced spouse wants to do, open communication lines with one another and respectful dialogue can help put children more at ease through this difficult time. One of the ways to ensure there is little conflict is by creating a formal or informal parenting plan that caters to everyone’s needs. This document should describe the time the child will spend with each parent, both on a normal basis and during the holidays. It should also include methods to change the parenting plan and who will make daily decisions and how to make important decisions. Change of residence plans, management of future conflict and arrangement of medical and financial costs and treatments should also be included in the parenting plan.
It may not be easy to communicate with an ex-spouse, but if parties can agree on a parenting plan that matches their schedule and wishes it could be in the best interests of the child.