Co-parenting after a divorce

When it comes to sharing child custody, or going through any child custody process, a positive attitude can help a lot. When developing a parenting plan, it's important for both parents to put the focus on the best interests of the child, even while the parents are planning to live otherwise separate lives.

A recent news story discussed a woman who keeps up a tradition of posing for family photos with her ex-husband and their 4-year-old child. In a social media post, the woman said she had a few treasured photos of her mother and father pictured together with her when she was young, before her parents divorced. She said she wanted her son to have a different experience. She said she wants her son to have photos with him and both of his parents as he grows up.

Her story helps illustrate a concept that can be difficult for many parents to keep in mind as they are going through the difficult process of divorce. When a divorcing couple has young children, the parents will have to continue to work together to raise their child.

Traditionally, courts almost always awarded custody to mothers, and fathers would see the children on alternating weekends or holidays. Today, divorcing parents create parenting plans so that each parent can spend more time with the children.

Even if one parent has primary custody, the other parent will almost certainly have visitation rights, meaning that the parents will have to coordinate visits and drop-offs. In addition, a noncustodial parent will be ordered to provide child support to help the other parent pay for the child's living expenses.

In many divorces, the emotions can get heated, and it can be difficult for the parties to come to agreement. However, when the issues involve children, the children's best interest must be the top priority for everyone. A lawyer with experience in divorce can advise you on legal techniques such as mediation, negotiation and other ways to reduce conflict during the divorce and in the years ahead.

Source:, "How these divorced parents are keeping up a sweet family tradition," Emily McCombs, March 30, 2017

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