Those planning on getting divorced in Texas with children usually want to keep a strong relationship with their offspring. One part of that relationship is developing a healthy co-parenting strategy that stresses cooperation for the children’s good.
Models for effective co-parenting
Healthy co-parenting strategies are possible, even in a complex divorce. Setting boundaries between your parenting life and newly single life is essential. Still, you can accomplish it through the Three Stages of Parenting and the Strength-Based models. Consider adopting one of these plans if you have found it challenging to develop a workable plan.
The Three Stages of Parenting Model is just what it sounds like:
• Express mutual respect during the transition stage of separation
• Collaboration on parenting decisions
• Consolidated co-parenting promotes legal obligations while respecting boundaries
The Strength-Based Co-Parenting Model has a child-based concept that encourages:
• Open communication
• Acknowledging individual strengths
• Child welfare is paramount
• Promotion of family activities
• Focus on values, respect and compromise
• Constructive conflict resolution
Whatever model you select, good and positive communication is essential to making it work. Separating your emotions from the hard work of what you need to do is also an important step. Although you need to be assertive about your own needs and need to take care of yourself, always remember that your children are the priority, so consider this point when setting boundaries.
Developing a workable child custody agreement
Texas law favors designating both parents as joint managing conservators, meaning each has primary custody. The state’s Family Code also encourages frequent contact between divorced parents in their children. When one parent moves away, child custody plans can become complex. A standard visitation schedule often only works for some co-parents because of the demands of modern life. Ex-spouses should be aware of and respect the other’s needs.
If you discover that you and your ex-spouse are having difficulty devising a workable co-parenting plan, consider alternative tactics such as mediation to reach an agreement. A support group for single parents can also become a valuable resource for advice and developing working co-parenting strategies to make everyone happy.