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Co-parenting can be beneficial for children of divorced parents

Many residents of Clarksville, Tennessee wouldn't be surprised to know that, according to recent reports, 40 percent of first marriages and 60 percent of second marriages in the country end in divorce. As a result, more than one million children witness their parents' divorce every year. The emotional distress that these children experience during and after a divorce can often be far greater than what their parents experience.

In order to keep the potentially detrimental impact of a divorce and the ensuing child custody battles from getting out of hand, courts in Tennessee believe in co-parenting, or shared parenting plans in an attempt to keep families together even after the parents are divorced. The primary objective of a shared parenting plan is to protect the best interests of the child, which can be affected by the lack of stability in their lives after a divorce.

Co-parenting requires the parents to make joint decisions in the child's best interests. It also involves ongoing communication between the two parents and sharing the amount of time a child spends with both parents. Any sort of conflict between the parents can strain a co-parenting arrangement and, as a result, the child is often adversely affected.

There are a number of ways that parents can have a strong co-parenting relationship. One way is to talk about their children's lives instead of their own. Parents can also decide on the best possible mode of communication considering their family's unique set of circumstances. Their motive should remain the protection of their children's best interests.

However, at times, the two parents may not agree to co-parent. Should this happen, it is always prudent to maintain a strong emotional relationship with the child. It is also important that one parent is not disrespectful toward the other parent, either consciously or unconsciously. Another option for parents is to speak with an experienced family law attorney, who may be able to counsel them on shared parenting and in turn help ensure that a child is always supported by his or her family.

Source: OAOA.com, "CENTERS PIECE: Successful co-parenting," Linda K. Boyd, June 30, 2014

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