The ending of a marriage can be one of the most traumatic, stressful, and emotionally charged experiences a person will ever go through. When children are involved, it often becomes even more difficult, especially if the children struggle to cope with the breakup of their parents’ relationship.
In many instances, this can put a strain on even the strongest families. The manner in which you and your spouse decide to address the issues incident to the ending of the marriage, including the manner in which you will allocate your parenting rights and responsibilities, may be critical in determining the nature of the relationship that you will each have with your children after your marriage has ended. If handled appropriately, you may find that your relationship with your children will become even stronger than it was before.
While there are many challenges associated with two single parents sharing rights and responsibilities involving their children (Shared Parenting), there are also several benefits:
- The parents will have a parenting time arrangement pursuant to which they will share parenting time. This will give each parent an opportunity to “rest and recharge” with uninterrupted time to pursue his/her own interests. It will also assure that each parent will have meaningful and consistent parenting time with the children.
- Each parent has an opportunity to be the primary caregiver for the children when the children are residing with that parent. During married life, sometimes one parent takes on the role of the primary caregiver for the children, with the other parent playing more of a supportive role. As divorced parents, each parent will have times when he/she is solely in charge. This will strengthen the bond between the children and the parent who may have taken on a more supportive role during the marriage, with the children coming to rely on that parent more often for their day-to-day substantive and emotional needs.
- Each parent will have an opportunity to create a home environment that works best for each parent’s parenting style. Hopefully, both parents will communicate and work together to ensure that in both households the children receive the well-rounded care necessary to survive and thrive. This, however, does not mean that each parent will not have their own parenting styles.
John Heilbrun is a family law attorney who has served the Cincinnati area for more than 35 years. He understands the importance for the children of each parent maintaining a strong parent-child relationship, both during the divorce/dissolution process and after; and he will work with you to ensure your parenting arrangements set you and your children up for success.