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Benefits of co-parenting

Sadly, divorce is a common occurrence in Oklahoma. Working out child custody and visitation can be very stressful. In child custody disputes, the Oklahoma law courts use a philosophy of “what is the best interest of the children.” In most cases, the best interest of the child is to have a relationship with both parents. Fortunately, if parents can work out an acceptable parenting plan, then the courts do not have to step in and make arrangements that might not be good for all the parties involved. 

Co-parenting is a type of shared custody, one in which both parents share in the decision-making responsibilities for the child. The American Coalition for Fathers & Children explains some of the benefits of shared parenting: 

  • Children living at least one-third of the time with both parents tend to have better problem-solving skills, better social skills and perform better in school.
  • Dads who share in parenting time are more likely to help pay for extra activities, college and child support.
  • Most children want more time with each parent following a divorce.
  • Even when styles of parenting differ, both parents contribute to the child’s well-being.
  • Children whose parents share parenting have good conflict-resolving skills.
  • Even in high-conflict divorce, co-parenting can minimize the effect of the conflict on the children. 

Negotiating a co-parenting plan is not always easy in the middle of a divorce, but it can be a learning process. You may want to work with your lawyer to successfully create this plan. Your lawyer can help you be objective and stay focused on what is best for the children instead of the heated emotions. In addition, your attorney is a good sounding board to make sure you are within your rights and responsibilities and do not forget something in the plan that would cause it to be invalid. You and the child’s other parent know your child best and know what is in the best interest of the child. 

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