Co-parenting in Connecticut after divorce: It is possible

When a relationship breaks down, and two parents decide to get divorced, it can be devastating for the children involved. The younger the children are, the greater the impact will be, according to Medical News Today. Two studies were recently conducted on the effects of divorce and how it influenced the relationships between parents and their children.

Two groups of participants were asked to complete a survey about their relationship with their divorced parents. The surveys revealed that most children from broken marriages did not have secure relationships with their parents, affecting their trust in those parents. Furthermore, if the child lived with only one parent, they often did not have a strong relationship with the other, non-custodial parent. These studies indicate that it is important for children to have both parents in their lives and for the parents, this means learning how to co-parent.

Letting go of the past

For couples who are no longer together, there are often hurt feelings and unresolved, lingering issues. Unfortunately, some parents inadvertently use their children as weapons, fighting over child custody, support and even visitation or parenting time. However, parents should realize that their number one priority should be the welfare of their children and that regardless of what the other parent has said or done, these disagreements should take a back seat to the needs of the children.

Unless a parent is abusive or negligent, it is in the best interest of the child to have quality time with both parents. Helpguide.org recommends that parents treat the upbringing of their children as a business partnership. This can help parents put past issues behind them, and instead, focus on building deep and meaningful relationships with their children. It will also enable parents to come together for important events in their children's lives.

The parenting plan

In Connecticut, parents are required to submit a parental responsibility plan if there is any dispute over the child, according to the Connecticut Judicial Branch. However, setting up a parenting plan is a good idea for parents who have amicably separated, as it sets up rules and protocols. The parenting plan should include:

  • How parents will communicate with each other.
  • The child's schedule, designating when the child will be with either parent, including holidays, family events and vacations.
  • How conflicts between parents will be resolved, without involving the child.
  • How the parenting plan will change as the child grows older.
  • Which parent will make decisions relating to medical care, education and religion for the child.
  • How extracurricular activities, medical needs and other unexpected expenses will be covered.

The parenting plan should also include house rules that the child will abide by, regardless of which parent they are with. These rules can include specific chores, bedtime, homework, TV watching, computer usage, spending time with friends and so forth, depending on the child's age.

By keeping the child's best interests as the focal point, divorced parents can learn how to co-parent successfully together. Seeking the advice of an experienced attorney is also a good idea to ensure that the plan is thorough and to prevent conflicts from rising later on.