Many Arkansas couples would probably agree on this fundamental point: when parents fight during divorce proceedings, their children lose. It is wrong of anyone to think that children are not perceptive. They observe everything, but do not always understand what they see. This often creates fear, insecurity, hopelessness and, sometimes, feelings that they are to blame. For all of these reasons, meeting the best interests of children argues for their parents to adopt a co-parenting plan. For both parents, this means putting their interests aside for the sake of their children.
Every parent should continually ask the question, “Are my child’s needs being met?” Divorcing parents have an even more important question to answer: “Will my child’s needs be met after we divorce?” The answer will likely lead both parents to the conclusion that co-parenting is the best solution. Co-parenting is much like the relationship between business associates who keep their emotions in check to focus on business — in this case, how best to raise their child. Once parents put their personal issues aside, their goals for their children are usually the same.
To be effective co-parents, ex-spouses will need to communicate directly with each other. Both spouses should work to make visitation a happy, pleasant and productive experience, as well as come up with a written parenting plan that will help resolve custody disputes when they arise. Other concerns — taking a child to the doctor or figuring out where a child will spend vacation — can also be thrashed out at this stage.
Talking to a mediator is often the first step toward developing a co-parenting plan. Both parents should explain their views without interruption. Together, they can come up with an effective plan that meets all of their concerns about parenting time. This can help make their relationships with children stronger.
Source: ArkBar.com, “From Parent Wars to Co-Parenting,” accessed on Dec.16, 2014