Family Law Attorney Urges Business-Like Approach to Shared Parenting

Parenting plan agreements can be among the mostly hotly contested and acrimonious things to happen in a courtroom. Any parent who has been through the process knows it is emotional and heart-wrenching to even consider time away from the children.

Once an agreement has been reached and a time-sharing plan is in place, there are important reasons to stick to the plan and do so with thick skin.

• The kids. First and foremost, the children have to be the priority in the process. If they are in their diapers or in their teens, the children are the first priority of the court and it is in each parent’s interest to keep what is best for the children in mind. If the answer to all questions starts with asking ‘what is going to be best for the children?’ then the questions will be easier to answer.

• Money. Disagreeing about a co-parenting agreement can lead to a return to court. Refusing to comply with an agreed-upon time-sharing arrangement will lead to expensive litigation while the other parent tries to get everyone to live up to their end of the deal. Many parents say they wish they had avoided going back to court by simply getting along better during the process.

• Stability. By sticking to the parenting plan directed by the court in the divorce proceedings, each of the time-sharing parents can secure stability not only for the children but also for themselves. Late pick up times, missed phone calls and miscommunication about test scores or doctor’s visits all can create tension and frustration for the parents and for the children. Stability is good for the children and it is good for each parent.

Because sticking with a parenting plan is good for the kids, good for the checkbook and good for everyone’s sanity, it is important to be a great co-parent.

Being a great co-parent can often be a function of looking at this new arrangement like a business partnership. Most successful business partners can put their personal differences aside to do what is best for the company. Many former spouses with shared parenting responsibilities have had success looking at their arrangement this same way – like a business.

Looking past personal differences often means finding a way to not feel hurt when the other parent says something nasty or does something out of character. It means having thick skin. Removing personal animosity toward the former spouse and concentrating on the business at hand – raising the child – can help make everyone’s experience less stressful.

Joshua Law is a family law attorney at Osenton Law Offices, P.A. If you need a Brandon family lawyer, Tampa family lawyer, or Tampa divorce attorney, call 813.654.5777 or visit

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