Co-parenting is a post-divorce parenting arrangement in which both parents continue to jointly play a role in their children’s lives. From attending games and recitals to celebrating birthdays and holidays, co-parenting allows both parents to be a part of as much of their children’s lives as possible.

However, in order for co-parenting to work, both parents need to be fully committed, and it is important to set clear expectations for everyone involved. With this in mind, here are some important considerations for parents who are thinking about co-parenting from our McKinney divorce lawyers:

Co-Parenting Can Be a Good Option If . . .

1. You and Your Spouse are Both Interested in Co-Parenting

Co-parenting is not for everyone, and it requires buy-in from both parents. As a result, even if you are interested in co-parenting, if your spouse is not, then co-parenting is not likely to be a good option after your divorce.

2. You and Your Spouse Have a History of Making Joint Decisions Without Conflict

Have you and your spouse generally been on the same page with regard to day-to-day parenting decisions? Have you been able to resolve any differences without significant conflict? When thinking about co-parenting, the past is usually a good indicator of what you can expect in the future.

3. You and Your Spouse Will Both Have the Time Available to Co-Parent

Co-parenting requires both parents to devote more time to their children than more-traditional parenting time schedules. Additionally, with co-parenting, consistency is extremely important, and you need to be confident that both you and your spouse will be there to support and spend time with your children on a regular basis.  

Co-Parenting Can Present Challenges If . . .

1. You and Your Spouse are Not on Good Terms

If you and your spouse are not on good terms now, then the likelihood that you will be able to work together effectively after your divorce is not particularly high. Co-parenting requires regular, open and respectful communication, and it requires both parents to be able to set aside their differences for the benefit of their children.  

2. You and Your Spouse Have Not Parented Together in the Past

Similarly, if you and your spouse have tended to “trade off” parenting duties during your marriage, then it might not be entirely reasonable to expect that you will come together more often after your divorce.  Old habits can be hard to break, especially when you and your (former) spouse are no longer living under the same roof.

3. You Are Not Confident in Your Spouse’s (or Your) Ability to Co-Parent Effectively

Finally, when deciding whether to pursue co-parenting, it is important to conduct a realistic assessment of what you can expect after your divorce. If you are not confident in your spouse’s (or your) ability to set aside any differences and make joint decisions with your children’s best interests in mind, then co-parenting might not be the best option for your family.

Discuss Your Options with a McKinney Divorce Lawyer in Confidence

If you are preparing for a divorce and would like to speak with a lawyer about co-parenting, we invite you to schedule a free initial consultation at Nordhaus & Nordhaus, PC. To request a phone or in-person consultation with one of our experienced McKinney divorce lawyers, please call 214-726-1450 or contact us online today.