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Collaborative divorce leads to healthy co-parenting

In most cases, a dad in a contested divorce dispute is told by family law mediators that he will lose a majority of child custody rights and property division rights to mom, and he will also be expected to pay a hefty child support each month. This can lead to a feeling of hopelessness for divorcing fathers, but fortunately there is a remedy on the rise. Collaborative divorce and co-parenting are both holistic approaches to uncontested divorce that are gaining recognition in the mediation system as an alternative the gender-based process.

Collaborative divorce mediation can lead to a healthy co-parenting outcome that is very desirable for raising happy children in a divorce scenario and avoiding the usual divorce issues. The key to a successful co-parenting relationship is based on open communication regarding the expectations of post-divorce life, as well as the desired custodial and financial roles for each parent.

Many divorced men are expected to provide most of the financial support to the child while the mom provides motherly TLC, but this is posing serious financial challenges on dads across the nation at a time when they are going through tumultuous emotional stress.

Parents -- including immigrants and other underrepresented groups -- who are beginning the process of divorce and have managed to maintain respect for one another and the ability to communicate may benefit from using collaborative divorce and co-parenting before beginning the divorce mediation in order to prevent hardship, especially regarding spousal support. A lawyer may be able to help a family aiming for a collaborative co-parenting outcome.

Source: Huffington Post, "Moving From Parenting to Co-parenting: Joining Together in Divorce", John McElhenney, November 20, 2013

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