Successfully co-parenting with a former spouse after divorce in Virginia

To ensure sharing custody benefits their children, there are several things divorced parents should do and several things they should avoid doing.

After divorce, many parents in Virginia share custody of their children. While this form of child custody is often what is best for their children, parents may struggle with the many challenges associated with sharing parenting responsibilities. To ensure that co-parenting is successful, there are several things divorced parents should do and several things that they should avoid doing once a shared custody agreement is finalized.

What to do

According to ABC News, parents sharing childcare responsibilities with a former spouse should establish a consistent routine for their children. For example, if one parent requires his or her children to go to bed at a certain time, this same rule should apply in the other parent's home. Maintaining a consistent routine in both households can provide children with needed stability as they get used to the idea of their parents living separately.

Divorced parents should also try to minimize wealth discrepancies between both households. For instance, if one parent has a certain gaming system at his or her house, parents should consider purchasing another system for the other house. ABC News states that if large differences in wealth exist, children may desire to spend most of their time at one of their parent's households instead of the other's.

What not to do

After a co-parenting arrangement has been established, divorced parents should not expect the relationship they have with their former spouse to improve. Instead, they should treat the relationship they have now like a business arrangement. Additionally, parents should avoid voicing their frustrations about sharing parenting responsibilities with their former spouse in front of their children. Instead, these frustrations should be vented to a close friend or a therapist.

When co-parenting becomes difficult

Parents should try to keep the benefits associated with co-parenting in mind if they ever run into a difficult situation with their former spouse. According to Psychology Today, these include some of the following:

  • Co-parenting allows children to preserve the relationships they have with both of their parents.
  • Sharing parenting responsibilities can enhance the relationships each parent has with their children.
  • This form of child custody makes it more likely that parents will be able to meet each of their children's specific needs.
  • Shared parenting can reduce the risk of parental alienation.

Although co-parenting is the right solution for many divorced parents in Virginia and is associated with many benefits, it is not the right option for every divorcing couple. If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, speak with an attorney to find out what type of child custody may be awarded in your personal situation.

Keywords: divorce, custody, child