Getting a divorce when children are involved can lead to some difficult decisions. Many divorced parents choose to engage in shared parenting, where the parents spend equal time with the children and agree to stick to some basic parenting rules so that the children experience consistency. Shared parenting can be difficult, but most families deem it important.

But will it work? How you can have shared parenting that is effective if your ex isn’t willing to be respectful towards you? The following excerpts from an article by Custody X Change helps parents decide if shared parenting is the right choice for them and how they can make it successful.

Is shared parenting the right option for us?

Shared custody is a valiant attempt by both parents to be involved in their child’s life for the benefit of the child.

Too often, parents remain together in a failing relationship in an effort to stick together “for the kids” because:

  • They don’t want their child to have to be shuttled back and forth between homes.
  • They don’t want their child to have to go long periods of time without seeing a parent.
  • They don’t want their child to feel the emotional toll of a divorce.
  • They both want to be present in their child’s life

However, when relationships fail, staying together “for the kids” isn’t very healthy for anyone involved and there comes a point where separation is inevitable.

Parents with shared custody agreements are able to acknowledge that they are both important to their child and they are willing to set aside personal grievances in order to provide the best possible up-bringing for their child.

If you are willing to work with the other parent to give your child the best custody arrangement possible, shared parenting may work for you.

Shared parenting is not the right choice for everyone. If your ex is not willing to work with you and be civil, then it will make shared parenting extremely difficult. However, if you are both looking out for the best interests of your children, then you should be able to put your own egos aside for the betterment of your children’s lives.

The following quote explains the ways in which parents can go about having a successful shared parenting plan.

How can I make shared parenting work for us?

When couples decide to separate or divorce, it is important to remember that your relationship is not ending, it is changing.

Though your romantic relationship has ended, you are still your child’s parents and will share that bond for the rest of your lives. The way you treat each other will have a direct impact on your child.

Putting your differences aside for the sake of your child may be difficult at first, but it will become easier over time. In fact, parents who are able to treat each other with civility and mutual respect generally become friendlier with each other over the years.

Even the most amiable of parents will have disagreements which is why a good parenting plan is a vital part of any shared custody agreement.

How can I make a successful parenting plan?

The key to creating a successful parenting plan is to be as detailed and as thorough as possible.

Your parenting plan will establish the rules for raising your child apart. If you create a document that encompasses the anticipated needs of your child you may avoid many disputes in the future.

A comprehensive parenting plan should include:

  • A basic custody schedule
  • A schedule for holidays and special occasions
  • Provisions for vacation time
  • A statement describing parental authority and decision-making
  • A method of dispute resolution
  • A method for modifying the plan
  • Any rules, stipulations, or provisions that you would like to include

However, even the most brilliant parenting plans will fail if the other parent doesn’t agree to it.

It is very important to make every effort to create a plan both of you can agree on. This may require a bit of compromise and a lot of patience.

Your parenting plan should be an unofficial contract. Both parties should discuss rules on how they would like their children to be raised, and then come to a compromise. When one parent follows discipline rules, while the other is more lenient about bedtimes and other guidelines, then these conflicting acts will confuse the child. While you may want to be seen as the “good parent”, this will not only undermine your ex’s parenting, but the life of your child. In order to learn how to abide by rules, both parents should have the same enforcements.

We understand that shared parenting is not an easy task. We at Revelli & Luzzo would be happy to help direct you to someone who can give your more tips on parenting after a divorce. If you need legal assistance in your divorce process, we are here to help fight for your case. Contact us today to learn more.

Do you think that shared parenting is a route that you will take after your divorce?