Families today are much more dynamic than the stereotypical roles of the 1950s. The twenty-first century family is composed of parents that both play active roles in the rearing of the children.

As a result, parents that find themselves’ going through a divorce are increasingly attempting to make co-parenting arrangements work.


Basic parenting rights in Texas

According to The Office of the Attorney General of Texas, Division for Families and Children, there are many basic rights that parents retain even after a divorce. In Texas, unless the court has ordered otherwise, parents have a right to receive information about their children’s health, education and welfare. They also have a right be involved in healthcare decisions for their children and should have the ability to access healthcare records.

Ideally, parents openly share this information with each other. Although the romantic relationship between the parents has ended with the divorce, the parental relationship will continue. As a result, family experts recommend parents consider co-parenting agreements over the more traditional sole custody arrangements used in the past.


Basics of co-parenting

Co-parenting arrangements are very different from the conventional sole custody agreements once commonplace in divorce agreements. Instead of an arrangement that provides one parent, generally the mother, with complete control over the children’s upbringing, a co-parenting agreement allows both parents to remain actively involved in the children’s lives.

Children reap many benefits from positive co-parenting relationships. These benefits include increased emotional stability and reduced periods of distress during difficult emotional situations such as divorce. As a result, divorce and parenting experts recommend parents attempt to co-parent their children after divorce.


Tips for successful co-parenting

These same experts recommend the following steps for a successful co-parenting relationship:


  • Live near each other
  • Practice acceptance
  • Communicate


Although not always possible, co-parenting is often most successful if both parents live near each other. The parents do not need to be neighbors, but owning homes in the same school district can make it much easier for a child to remain involved in sports and extracurricular activities no matter which home he or she is staying in.

Also keep in mind that when in a different home, your child will likely be living by different rules. Although some consistency can be beneficial, try to accept that the other parent may have a different bedtime routine. As long as the child is not in danger, avoid criticizing small differences.

If a larger difference is a problem, avoid confronting the other parent in anger. Instead, attempt to calmly communicate concerns and come to a resolution together.

Developing a parenting plan that includes co-parenting techniques can be difficult. If you are going through a divorce and are interested in making co-parenting work, contact an experienced co-parenting solutions attorney to discuss your unique situation and better develop a customized co-parenting solution.