Having to figure out child custody issues when working through a divorce, and even after the fact, isn't always the easiest thing to do. First, having to decide how custody will be divided between parents can be a very sensitive issue. For parents in Washington who each want a child custody agreement that works in their favor, co-parenting may be an option to consider.
Co-parenting is essentially a joint custody arrangement, though the terms may be a little more relaxed. Ex-spouses who plan to co-parent both want equal time with their children and are willing to keep the lines of communication open so both stay in the loop, so to speak, as far as what is going on in their children's lives. This can be difficult to do, especially if hurt feelings seem all-consuming.
Parents who choose a co-parenting plan, regardless of their relationship, try to maintain a positive attitude and keep the focus on the children and what is best for them. Children who can see their parents, though separated, still working towards common goals and showing mutual respect for each other are more likely to feel a sense of security during this difficult adjustment. It also sets a good example regarding conflict resolution that they can carry with them as they move into adulthood.
Co-parenting isn't always easy. It takes a lot of tolerance to make a child custody arrangement like this work; however, it can prove to be very beneficial to the emotional welfare of children, especially if there is a strong bond with both parents. Washington couples considering divorce have a lot of things to consider, particularly if children are involved. Working out a child custody arrangement that works for both parents and keeps the best interests of the children at heart can be difficult. Co-parenting as a custody option may be a reasonable solution that allows both parents and children steady access to each other, easing the transition into their new way of life.
Source: thedailytimes.com, "Parenting after divorce means putting child's needs first", Brenda-Lee Duarte, July 6, 2014