For divorced parents in Texas, co-parenting can often be one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, aspects of adjusting to life after divorce. Individuals who are close to their children may be conscious of trying to avoid making the kids feel as if they need to choose sides between them even when the parents have a contentious relationship with one another. Some people may also feel like they need to compete with one another for their children's love and affection, especially when activities and standards are different between the parents' homes.
Despite the difficulties of co-parenting, many divorced parents find a path to success, sharing child custody or arranging a positive visitation schedule. With attention to scheduling and planning, even parents with a poor interpersonal relationship can work together to create a positive, supportive environment for their children. In many cases, the fathers are more likely to be designated as the noncustodial parent even though joint custody is an increasingly popular option. When parents only have visitation, however, they may want to make the most of the limited time that they have with their children.
There are a few guidelines that parents can follow to help make their co-parenting relationship a success. Communication is key and can include written, face-to-face and telephone conversations. It is important for parents to speak to each other rather than passing messages through their children. For important information, written communication like email is best in order to create a clear trail of documentation. In addition, keeping a consistent, regular schedule can help children feel supported.
Many parents hesitate to end even the unhappiest marriages due to concerns about losing time with their children. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing person to advocate for the parent-child relationship and a positive custody agreement and schedule that works for the whole family.