Studies show that children of divorced households generally fare better when they have access to both parents. Researchers say kids can adapt to a new routine both during and after a divorce. However, negative impacts do occur when intense conflicts exist between parents.
The negative vibe can get worse when ex-spouses are continually battling over four main child-related issues, which are vacation plans, schools and extra-curricular activity, medical care and religious decisions.
Positive components of a parenting plan
Conflicts over parenting styles can lead to lengthy and costly court battles. While you and your ex may not agree on some of the aspects of a co-parenting plan, research shows children are better adjusted when both parents are involved in parenting decisions. Here are considerations that can help avoid conflict:
- Avoid resentment: Even if your ex deserves your scorn, trying to exclude them from parenting decisions usually backfires.
- Document disagreements: Highlight unresolved parenting issues that are caused by a lack of communication between you and your ex.
- Provide evidence: If the courts need to step in over a disagreement, they will generally decide in favor of the parent who has been making most of those decisions for the past two years.
- Flexible schedules: When sharing custody, always put your child’s needs first and don’t use the schedule to deprive your ex of spending time with them. If they are more available than you are, plan accordingly.
- Minimize contact: If you have a high-conflict ex, reduce the likelihood of interacting with them when dropping off or picking up your child.
Know your rights for adopting a parenting plan
Colorado courts determine child custody arrangements based on the best interests of the child and will usually award joint custody to divorced parents. Working with an experienced family law attorney will help you protect your rights and deal with difficult issues that can arise, especially for those who have high-conflict ex-spouses.