Co-parenting is the act of raising a child together as parents, even if the child’s parents are no longer in a romantic relationship. Co-parenting examples can be challenging to find, as it is difficult for the court to come up with a fair co-parenting arrangement given the highly conflicted divorce battle. However, with a good co-parenting arrangement, parents can continue to play an active role in their child’s life, even after an embarrassing legal battle between the parents.
One very good co-parenting example happened in North Carolina Appeals Court in 2016. Smith v. Smith, 786 S.E.2d 12, was a complex family law case involving a divorced couple from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County area. The husband, Craig Smith, and his wife, Vera Smith, separated in 2007 after he discovered that she was having an affair. The father failed to support their three daughters’ private school tuition fees. Although the trial court issued a permanent custody order that gave both parents equal custody of their children, the co-parenting ruling was overturned by the fact that the father, Craig Smith, owing a total of $116,000. The co-parenting schedule which is based on a week-on, week-off basis was not carried through.
To get more understanding on this issue, the court heard expert testimony by a well-known shared-parenting and children of divorce researcher, Dr. Linda Nielsen. Dr. Nielsen is a professor of adolescent and educational psychology at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, North Carolina. In the court, she shared the results of research from 60 studies examining joint physical custody over the past 40 years. In her findings, which she has researched in depth over the years, she discovered that the children under Joint Parenting Custody have better outcomes.
The State Court of Appeals affirmed that her testimony was relevant to the case. As a result, the judges agreed that the Smiths’ permanent custody order that gave both parents equal custody of their children with the week-on, week-off schedule was appropriate.
Some examples of co-parenting arrangements
One parent has primary custody of the child, and the other parent has regular visitations. The parents may also share decision-making authority and work together to raise the child.
The parents have a shared custody arrangement, in which the child spends equal time with both parents. This can involve the child living with one parent during the week and the other parent on the weekends, or it can involve the child spending a week with one parent and then a week with the other.
The parents have a long-distance co-parenting arrangement, in which one parent lives in a different city or state from the child. In this case, the parents may need to communicate and make decisions about the child’s upbringing remotely, and the non-custodial parent may have regular visitations or extended stays with the child.
The parents have a joint custody arrangement, in which they both have legal custody of the child and make decisions about the child’s upbringing together. This can involve the child spending equal time with both parents or one parent having primary custody and the other parent having regular visitations.
It’s important to note that every co-parenting arrangement is unique, and what works for one family may not work for another. The most important thing is for the parents to communicate openly and work together to do what is best for their child. Also, fathers need to be alerted as they might be in a more difficult position to win a fair co-parenting arrangement.
“Nesting”: A new shared parenting technique
Nesting in co-parenting refers to a type of co-parenting arrangement in which the child or children remain in the family home while the parents take turns living in the home with them. This can be a temporary arrangement, such as during a divorce or separation, or it can be a long-term arrangement.
In a nesting arrangement, the parents may each have their own separate living space, such as an apartment or a house, but they take turns living in the family home with the child or children. This can allow the child to maintain a sense of stability and routine, as they continue to live in the same house and attend the same school. Nesting can be a good option for parents who want to minimize the impact of their separation or divorce on their child.
It’s important to note that nesting can be a challenging arrangement, as it requires the parents to be flexible and to coordinate their schedules. It may also require the parents to have a good level of communication and cooperation, as they need to work together to make sure the child’s needs are met.