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Co-parenting is often seen as a post-divorce or separation arrangement in which both parents continue to jointly participate in their child’s upbringing. It can involve a substantial amount of interaction between parents both in public and in private.

Co-Parenting After Divorce

When deciding arrangements for co-parenting after divorce, emotions can get the better of both parties. However, when considering the implication for children, there are many things to consider. It is better to set aside the hurt and anger in the best interest of the children, with co-parenting as a team allowing for better communication. This overall makes child arrangements after divorce much easier.

The Different Forms of Co-Parenting

Different co-parenting styles develop after divorce, quite often reflecting the type of marriage which the couple had. The different styles include:

1. Parallel Parenting: co-parents who fall under this category often have low conflict and communication, being emotionally disengaged from one another. They have little coordination of parenting issues, each parent acting individually.

2. Conflicted Co-Parenting: this style of co-parenting can often be the most harmful towards the children. Between the parents there are commonly frequent conflicts and poor communication.

3. Co-operative Co-Parenting: occurring 25% of the time between, divorced parents, this style of co-parenting is the most advantageous. Whilst it is characterised by planning, co-ordination, and communication, it makes for a conflict free experience.

Co-Parenting Rights & Responsibilities

The most important role which parents take on is to provide a home and protection for their children. Co-parenting responsibilities also include having agreement over the child’s medical treatments and ensuring they are supported financially. However, when parents separate from one another, the GOV website states that having parental responsibility does not mean you have the right to spend time with the children.

Whilst consent of both parties is not required when making routine decisions for their children, agreements preferably in writing must be made by both parents with Parental Responsibility for major life issues effecting children such as medical treatment, education etc. When disagreements arise from such decisions, a Specific Issue Order or Prohibited Steps Order can be applied for. A judge will then make the decision with the best interest of the child in mind.

Different Orders and Agreements for Co-Parenting

There are many different orders and agreements which can be put into place to diffuse any disagreements and make co-parenting easier for both parties.

1. Shared Care Agreement: Shared care means that the child will live with both parents at different times with the dates and times being specified in an order made by the court if the parents cannot agree. This means that the agreement does not have to be 50/50.

2. Child Arrangement Order: An order from the court which details the arrangements for the child, including where they will live and how they will spend their time with each parent. The order is a legally binding court order. Anyone who has parental responsibility can apply for a Child Arrangement Order, whether they are a biological parent or another relative.

3. Emergency Child Arrangement Order: This order is given to safeguard the child from ongoing risk, physical, mental, or emotional harm in situations of emergency.

Legal Advice

Organising child arrangements because of a divorce or a separation can be a challenging experience, which is why our team of Family Law. specialists are here to support you. For help with issues ranging from child arrangement orders to mediation queries , get in touch with Eatons today.