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How to co-parent successfully with a former spouse in North Carolina

For many divorced parents in North Carolina, learning to share parenting responsibilities with their former spouse after ending their marriage can be difficult. However, there are several strategies divorced parents who share child custody can adopt to co-parent in a way that is beneficial for their children.

Establishing a successful shared parenting arrangement

According to ABC News, there are several things divorced parents should do and things they should avoid while co-parenting. For example, parents should:

  • Think about what their children are feeling-for many children of divorced parents, going back and forth between each parent's household is difficult. To effectively co-parent, parents should consider moving to homes that are in close proximity to the other.
  • Maintain a routine-parents should establish rules that are the same at both households. For example, if bedtime is 8:00 pm at one parent's house, it should be the same at the other's parent's house.
  • Avoid being too friendly with their ex-spouse-parents should make it clear to their children that they are still divorced. Additionally, parents should keep in mind that there is a difference between doing things like attending one of their children's school events together and getting dinner together alone.
  • Overcome past disagreements with their ex-spouse-divorced parents should remember that even if their marital relationship with their former spouse was less than perfect, they can still develop an effective co-parenting relationship. However, in comparison to the relationship they had during their marriage, divorced parents should view their parenting relationship as a business agreement.

Once a joint custody agreement has been established, parents should not necessarily expect the relationship with their ex-spouse to improve. Divorced parents should also avoid venting their anger about co-parenting with their former spouse in front of their children and save these frustrations for conversations with a therapist or a close friend.

The benefits of co-parenting

When co-parenting becomes difficult, parents should keep in mind that sharing parenting responsibilities is associated with many benefits for themselves as well as for their children. For example, according to Psychology Today, shared parenting allows parents to preserve the relationships they currently have with their children and for children to maintain the relationships they developed with each of their parents. Shared parenting can also decrease parental conflict, reduce the risk of parental alienation and better enable parents to meet their children's specific needs.

While co-parenting is often what is best for the children of divorced parents in North Carolina, it is not always the right choice for every couple who chooses to end their marriage. If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, speak with an attorney to find out about the various types of parenting arrangements that may be available to you.