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Child custody: More parents are choosing co-parenting

When Arizona parents separate these days, a common arrangement is shared parenting. Also known as co-parenting, this is a child custody arrangement in which both parents assume equal and joint responsibility of raising children even though the parents are legally separated. Although this type of custody agreement can be difficult, especially during a divorce, it is arguably the most beneficial custody arrangement for children.

Special efforts are needed by both parents in order to make co-parenting successful. Even if both parents understand the benefits of effective co-parenting, the emotional effects of divorce can make it a challenge. Parents should consider creating a parenting agreement. This makes the arrangement more of a business agreement, which could help to take emotions out of play when making decisions that will affect children.

One of the most important things parents can do is to always remain supportive of the other parent, especially when children are present. Supporting the children's relationship with the other parent can be difficult for ex-spouses, since disagreements between couples are usually what initiate separations. Parents should be careful to never put children in the middle or use them as messengers. Instead, parents should find an effective way to communicate and allow the other parent equal time with children.

It is perfectly normal for parents to feel alone while attempting to co-parent amid a divorce. Seeking support from friends and family is always helpful. Sometimes, professional support from therapists or counselors is needed and can be extremely beneficial for parents. Although co-parenting is quickly becoming more and more common throughout the country, child custody laws will vary from state to state. Those in Arizona who have questions about child custody and the legal ramifications should consult an attorney experienced in family law.

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