Maddox & Gerock

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How can co-parenting help children post-divorce?


When parents in Falls Church are going through a divorce, they may feel like their disagreements will never end. The fighting and rancor that led to the end of the marriage can be difficult not just for the spouses, but for their children as well. However, children are resilient and can adjust to a new life post-divorce, especially if their parents are able to co-parent.

Research on the subject of children and divorce, including a two-decade study published in a book titled, "We're Still Family," has shown that approximately 80 percent of children whose parents divorced were still able to thrive. They were able to do well in school, adjust socially and that there was no long-lasting harm on their mental well-being. And, when parents are able to co-parent after a divorce, it can have a beneficial effect on their child.

Cooperation is necessary to successful co-parenting. High conflict situations can be very hard for a child to deal with. If parents can work out their conflicts in a positive manner, they can avoid exposing their child to this harm. Co-parenting can also provide the stability a child needs to thrive post-divorce. After a divorce, parents can shift their focus from each other to their children. Parents will have to recognize that there will be times when they both need to be present for their child, for example, at birthdays or graduations. The ability to be civil during such events shows the child that he or she has the support of both parents.

Co-parenting can be possible if both parents share joint custody of their child, or if one parent has physical custody of the child and the other parent has visitation rights. When parents respect each other's parenting time, and follow the schedules set in their divorce decree, it can reduce the amount of conflict the child is exposed to. Some parents are able to negotiate child custody issues out-of-court. This could be helpful, as it allows both parents to have more control over the final outcome of their child custody issues. However, sometimes parents need to turn to the court to resolve child custody issues, and the court will do so based on the best interests of the child. In either case, co-parenting can help children work through their parents' divorce in a way that allows them to grow in a healthy manner.

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Maddox & Gerock, P.C.
8111 Gatehouse Road
Suite 410
Falls Church, VA 22042
Phone: 703-883-8035
Fax: 703-356-6120
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