It can seem impossible to communicate well enough with an ex-spouse to co-parent immediately after a divorce. Both parents and children often experience high levels of emotional and psychological turmoil in the aftermath of separation. Under the best circumstances, the dissolved marriage can often leave the broken family feeling an array of loss and hurt over evaporated expectations for loving, lifelong relationships. When betrayal or infidelity has been a factor, it often causes even more feelings of anger and resentment.
Parenting Doesn’t Cease Just Because a Marriage Dissolves
The above is understandable, but those feelings don’t negate the need to continue parenting as a unit. It’s called co-parenting. Even when high conflict is present between exes, research has shown that parents seem to keep closer and more loving relationships with their children and that children adapt better to the split of their nuclear family structure in the presence of co-parenting. Let’s look at five benefits of co-parenting.
Children Witness Less Conflict
Personal issues from within the marriage aside, conflict following a divorce often stems from parents feeling threatened as parents, not spouses. In a Psychology Today article, Edward Kruk, Ph.D., explained that custody arrangements seeking sole custody had increased conflict and shared parenting arrangements have decreased friction. When neither parent is under threat of losing the children, your relationship with the kids prospers in the long run.
Gain an Increased Sense of Security Through Co-Parenting
Divorce is a prime example for children on how adults handle conflict resolution and life skills. If they see parents failing to communicate or using inappropriate communication, it’s a green light for them to manage their feelings in the same style. It’s stressful, and it obliterates the sense of security parents try to provide for children.
On the other hand, children feel more secure and less stressed when they see appropriate conflict resolution styles from co-parents. Children who see efficient co-parenting feel less torn, less inclined to pick a side, and can guiltlessly continue a close relationship with both parents. Kids also tend to blame themselves for a divorce if they don’t see co-parenting with mutual respect, especially in cases where safety and love are questionable.
Healthy Model for Life Skills and Conflict Resolution
Respectful co-parenting provides children with a model for effective and efficient problem-solving for when they go on to face their own obstacles and conflicts throughout their lives. Your kids will always look to you as an example for their own behavior, and if they see petty behaviors from the adults in their lives, they will pick up those habits.
More Likely to Have Two Active Parents in Their Lives
Co-parenting means more comprehensive and open communication between adults so that the children’s well-being doesn’t fall through the cracks. It also means less disruption to the child’s routine and relationships. When co-parents work together and respect each other, the likelihood of maintaining an active role in the lives of their children throughout their futures increases significantly.
Better Communication in the Family
Conflict often silences children. They withdraw, and their needs and feelings often get overlooked or overshadowed in all the adult arguing. Studies have shown that children, and teens, in particular, are less likely to engage in risky sexual and substance decisions when co-parenting exists.
Kansas Family Lawyers Can Help
If you’re going through a divorce, it’s essential to have all the legal documents adequately prepared, especially if you have children. Even if two individuals get along and can agree on custody, parents must retain the proper paperwork to go forward smoothly. With 20 years of experience serving families in the Kansas area, attorney Joseph T. Welsh can help you settle your divorce case.
Call 620-510-5030 or fill out our contact form today for a free consultation about your divorce in Kansas. Prevent disruptions to your family life by enlisting legal help in your divorce process.