coparenting divorce when it works

Co-Parenting: When It Works and When It Doesn’t

Dear Mr. Dad: Last week you wrote about co-parenting strategies. But you made it sound like it’s an arrangement that works for everyone. I’m a divorce lawyer and I can assure that it doesn’t. Please explain to your readers why parents would want to co-parent in the first place, as well as when it’s likely to be successful and when it’s not.

A: The most compelling argument for co-parenting is that it’s by far the best option for everyone.

  • Parents like it. Former couples who share physical custody of their children fight less and are generally happier with their custody arrangements.
  • Judges like it. Divorced co-parents are about half as likely as sole-custody parents to go back to court to settle their disputes.
  • Kids like it. Because co-parenting exes each have a significant role in their children’s life, kids get the benefit of spending time with both parents. A parental breakup can make children feel frightened, out of control and, unloved. And if one parent disappears—or almost disappears—those feelings get worse.
  • It nearly eliminates child-support default. Parents (dads or moms) with shared physical custody keep in much closer contact with their children than those who don’t share custody. As a rule, people who see their children pay their child support.

Co-parenting Works When …

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Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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