When they are married, Florida couples typically share the responsibility of providing for and raising their children. If they are divorced, living in separate households may not be the only roadblock to them continuing to share this responsibility. However, the state of Florida holds that, with few exceptions, children should have frequent and continued contact with both of their parents after a divorce. To this end, state law specifies that the court may order shared parenting, or co-parenting.
Psychology Today points out that stressors abound for divorced couples who are navigating the challenge of continuing to parent together. By focusing solely on their children and their needs, however, shared parenting may be a positive experience for everyone involved.
Communication is an essential element of making co-parenting arrangements work. People should regularly touch base to discuss what is going on with their children, as well as what is happening in their own lives. If they cannot communicate without discord, parents may opt to use email, text messaging, letters, or shared parenting apps or websites instead of having face to face discussions or talking over the phone.
While they may rebel against it and test the limits, consistency is important for children’s well-being. Just as they would if they were raising their children together, co-parents should agree on boundaries and rules to put in place for their children. These behavioral guidelines should be enforced at both homes and parents should avoid relaxing them out of guilt.
According to Psychology Today, involving children in adult disputes may cause them to feel helpless and insecure. Therefore, it is essential for people to commit to keeping their children out of their conflicts. Further, they should avoid speaking negatively about their exes and refrain from undermining or otherwise damaging their children’s relationships with their other parents.