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What is Coparenting and why is it important?

Let's be clear whether divorced or married coparenting exists. Coparenting has been aligned with divorce but reality is we coparent in marriage too. Coparenting issues in divorce can seem more challenging and be more difficult to work with however make no mistake they exist in marriage too. 

Coparenting helps parents communicate effectively for the benefit of the child(ren). During separation and divorce, coparenting enables parents to focus on issues about the child(ren) and parenting styles. Mediation guides couples in redefining their roles as parents while avoiding the pitfalls of still approaching one another as partners.

The Research is in! Children of divorce who see and hear both parents getting along, working together and speaking kindly and calmly will do better academically, emotionally, socially, and fare better in their own future relationships than those children who are living in conflict. Mediation and Coparenting assists both parents, who may have different styles, find common ground and develop effective communication skills resulting in positive outcomes for their children.

How does coparenting reduce emotional stress and financial costs?

Parents who agree to work out their parenting differences between themselves and stay out of court fare far better emotionally and financially. By removing court involvement, stress is substantially reduced. Mediation helps parents avoid prolonged confrontation and focuses on providing current positive solutions. This enables parents to build foundations of trust between one another and for the child(ren).

Coparenting also reduces legal costs. Litigation is extremely expensive. The meditation/cooperating process creates an environment where parents are working for the child(ren) instead of against one another. Effective coparenting skills can create the trust necessary for a better experience for the child(ren) and for the family's new dynamic.

How does coparenting benefit the child(ren)?

Parents have a powerful impact upon their child(ren) as role models. No one can replace a father, and no one can replace a mother.  Each parent has a unique part in teaching their children about relationships, influencing how they treat people, how they understand and view themselves. Regardless of whether you are married, separated or divorced you are teaching your children about relationships, how to handle social dynamics and creating aspects of their self esteem. Coparenting helps child(ren) by guiding their parents in a safe environment where the goal is to bring out the best in their childr(ren) by bringing out the best in one another as parents.

What aspects of coparenting might be discussed during mediation?

Coparenting conversations are generally centered around issues that benefit the child(ren). Obvious topics might include school, daily routines, parenting time, pickups and drop-offs, exchange of clothing, extra-curriculars, social dynamics, and health to name a few. However, parent interactions whether it be in person, on the phone, texting or emailing may be challenging at times, as well as issues surrounding finances pre or post divorce may need to be discussed if the parents are unable to work it out between themselves. 

By keeping the child(ren) as the center point of the discussion, parents are more inclined to work together. When challenges arise, coparenting mediation helps to find solutions instead of allowing different parenting styles or miscommunication to add more conflict. Coparenting mediation is important to the health and well-being of all families but especially separated or divorced families.