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Divorce and Your Child’s Best Interest – Co-Parenting After A Divorce

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Divorce is a difficult process, from dealing with lawyers to adjusting to a new way of life. When there are children involved, they’re faced with a lot of uncertainty. Their everyday lives will change as well as yours. Bringing in the right child custody lawyer, as well as incorporating counseling, can alleviate some of the discomfort involved, but how do you possibly explain to your children what the future may hold as your family goes separate ways? 

No one experiences more discomfort in a divorce than the children involved. One of the primary concerns of divorcing couples is what happens to the children. While one parent may think they have more parental rights than the other, both parties need to consider the well-being and best interest of the child. 

How you determine child custody with a family law attorney will affect the trajectory of your child’s life, so fully understanding child custody laws in your state and how your child’s best interest plays a role in your divorce will benefit all involved. 

Sure, your mind might be set on doing everything possible to keep your child with you. Still, considering all options with a family law attorney and understanding the emotional adjustment this will be for you and your family will help you in the long run. This article will explore how the court determines child custody and the role that the best interest of the child plays in the process.

Co-Parenting 101

When it comes to child custody, co-parenting is typically in the child’s best interest, barring any immediate danger to the child. The child(ren) won’t see both parents daily, and their everyday life will look a little different. They’ll be spending time at two different homes, which can be a huge adjustment. With positive co-parenting, some of the messiness often involved with the fallout of divorce can be mitigated. Here are some ways that you can effectively co-parent during and beyond the divorce itself and preserve your child’s best interests above all else.

1. Don’t Speak Poorly About Your Ex

One of the cardinal rules is to speak no evil, especially around children. When they hear you talking poorly about your ex, they will internalize those feelings themselves and may lash out as well. You may not want to deal with your ex extensively, but they are still the other parent in the picture. Your child loves them. Keep those thoughts to yourself. 

2. Co-Parenting Isn’t About What You Want

Sure, the divorce was about what happened (or was lacking) between you and your ex, but co-parenting and custody are about the kids (and only about the kids). The best interest of the child or children involved should be the primary focus, and tunnel vision can often get in the way of that. 

The kids aren’t objects to be had in the divorce. They are yours, both of yours, to cherish and make memories with, even if the future may look a little different. What’s best for the child may not always feel good from your perspective, but it will benefit your child greatly in the long run.

3. Know Your Schedule, and Stick to It as Much as Possible

Being realistic regarding your priorities and schedule is an important thing to consider when developing a co-parenting plan. Keeping a sense of consistency is key in things like your work schedule and other obligations that you had even when you were married. Stick to a schedule, and don’t alter it based on the emotional response of the divorce and pending child custody. Develop a sense of normalcy in both your schedule and your child’s. 

4. It’s Up To You and Your Ex To Cooperate 

Both parents need to keep in mind that the child wants both parents around. They need to feel the support and love of both parents.. Just because you didn’t agree with the other parent as a spouse doesn’t mean they’re a terrible parent, and putting the needs and well-being of your child first is crucial to striking a healthy balance that benefits everyone, regardless of the current circumstance. 

5. Find an Agreeable Communication Method

Again, you may want to interact with your ex as much as possible, but the needs and best interest of your child have to remain the priority. This means maintaining effective communication with your ex when it comes to your child.

For co-parenting to work best, communication is key. You can use several methods that reduce in-person or over-the-phone contact, including text, email, shared calendars, and more to keep each other on track and communicate about things like sports, school, appointments, and more. 

Baldwin County Family Law—Representation Tailored To You and Your Family

At Brackin & Johnson, we get the results you deserve when you need them most. With more than 40 years of experience, we can provide comprehensive care and representation tailored to your needs and unique situation. 

No one divorce or child custody case is the same as the next. We are ready to help you understand your legal stance as a parent, contact us today for the best legal services in Baldwin County. 

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