How to Deal with Divorce: The Importance of Healthy Co-Parenting

It’s happened. Divorce. You know the harm that a divorce battle can inflict on your children. You understand that divorce is a long-term emotional process, and not simply a legal or financial event. You can’t imagine the toll it will take on you and your family. At The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation, we offer a unique process that protects kids and reduces the stress and strain on you, your spouse and everyone else affected by your divorce.

healthy co parenting

Unfortunately, many people think their only option is the destructive litigated divorce process in court. This ugly process often turns spouses into enemies. Poor communication between spouses, and the relinquishing of control over one’s future to a judge, escalates conflict and is harmful to the wellness of everyone impacted by the divorce. But, there is a better way, a healthy way, to get a divorce. You can choose divorce mediation that honors your current situation and helps you to find creative solutions to the challenging issues of divorce. Mediation means you never have to go to court, and you stay in control.

Divorcing parents have many decisions to make, and some will not be easy. Still, one thing is very clear, they can choose mediation and commit to having the healthiest divorce possible and to having a future of healthy co-parenting.

What is healthy co-parenting?

Co-parenting describes the common parenting situation of unmarried parents who do not live together but share responsibilities to care for their children. A foundational principle of co-parenting is that a central developmental need of every child is to have a stable relationship with both parents.

Healthy co-parenting is essential to the psychological well-being of children. A commitment to healthy co-parenting means that parents put aside their differences with one another for the sake of giving their children what they need. Parents who have frequent communication with one another and with their kids help them be equally involved and informed.

Parents should communicate positive messages about the other parents so that their children hear them. Children need each parent to positively reinforce the relationship they have with the other parent. Children are best supported when they feel their parents, though divorced, remain united as parents.

Many parents don’t realize until it is too late that in litigation, a judge renders all decisions to include how much time they will each be allowed to spend with their children, and who will make decisions about their children’s care. In mediation, trained professional mediators can inspire healthier perspectives and help create a mutually-beneficial parenting plan that addresses every issue a judge might otherwise decide: parenting time, legal decision-making, and shared financial obligations.

A thoughtful parenting plan might include agreements for weekly time-sharing, and arrangements for holidays, vacations, and summertime. Agreements about children’s health issues, safety, education, and religious upbringing will be addressed. Together, these agreements make up a detailed, thoughtful parenting plan which can also address how co-parents will communicate with one another after divorce.

Parents can be as creative as they like in mediation and can design their parenting plan to meet their unique needs and the needs of their children. In this way, mediation lays the foundation for healthy co-parenting.

Protecting children

Child psychologists agree that high conflict between parents during and after divorce can cause long term psychological damage to children. Communication breakdowns and misunderstandings during litigation cause child custody battles that devastate families.
For that reason, parents should make every effort to de-escalate conflict during divorce. For many couples this is extremely difficult and is much more easily said than done. However, engaging in a process that supports lowering conflict, rather than one that fans the fire of conflict, empowers parents to keep conflict low.

The skilled professional mediators at The Aurit Center help create awareness around how to recognize and communicate about changes in your child’s behavior with your co-parent. Healthy, open and supportive communications help you avoid misunderstandings, blaming and potential arguments. At the end of mediation, parents come away with a full parenting plan that meets the needs of both parents and children. And when you choose mediation, your entire process is completed without you ever stepping foot in a courtroom.

Overall health

Divorce doesn’t need to be a war that results in loss for everyone. Divorce does present opportunities for hope, healing, and success, in the midst of its great challenges. While divorce may be unavoidable and painful, no matter how you approach it, becoming an effective and committed co-parent can become your greatest victory.

Utilizing the mediation process to reach parenting agreements can give you peace-of-mind knowing that your children’s best interests come first. As society becomes more health conscious, and we become more and more aware of the adverse effects of living in a highly stressful state of being, divorce mediation is focused on wellness.

A healthy divorce is possible. You can give a healthier divorce a chance. Also make sure to review our resource on divorce in AZ.

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