When determining child custody, the courts in New Jersey assumes the child’s well-being will be better if he or she has the opportunity to spend time with each parent, unless there is evidence that proves otherwise. Determining factors relate to what is in the best interest of the child.
In most instances, shared custody is better for the child. However, figuring out how to co-parent can be challenging at first. Fortunately, it can happen successfully.
Benefits of shared custody
According to Science Daily, children who are able to spend time with each parent experience less stress than those who live in sole custody situations. This is so even when there is conflict between the parents. Shared custody allows children to build stronger relationships with both parents, and it provides stability.
According to Healthline, children also tend to have fewer behavioral issues when their parents are able to co-parent in a cooperative manner.
How to make co-parenting work
Along with figuring out a regular parenting plan based off each parent’s work schedule and the child’s schedule, parents should discuss ahead of time how to handle vacations and holidays. Consistency is key, as is planning in advance and communicating. Communication between parents should be regular to keep tabs on the child, but it should also be direct, respectful and concise. If talking directly in person or over the phone is difficult, text or email works as well.
Some key factors that make co-parenting work are compromise, active listening and supporting each other. The rules and disciplinary measures should be similar in both households. Parents should also refrain from talking negatively about the other in the child’s presence.