Effective Co-Parenting can Being with a Collaborative Law Divorce
The dream for many men and women in British Columbia is to marry, raise children and live happily ever after with their family. For some, however, the dream does not last. A divorce may mean the end of the family unit as it was, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of good child-rearing or a positive family dynamic. By starting from a nonconfrontational position, perhaps through a collaborative law approach to the divorce, parents can build a new family based on cooperation, and placing the child’s needs first.
A family in the United States gained a measure of fame recently from a family photograph that went viral. The picture shows a little girl in her soccer uniform flanked by four adults. All five are wearing the same number, but the adults each have something extra on their shirts. Instead of a surname on the back, one shirt spells out “Mommy,” another says, “Daddy,” and the group is completed with, “Step Dad” and “Step Mom.”
After the parents of the girl separated, they made the conscious decision to work together to raise their daughter, despite no longer being together. They extended that decision to include their respective spouses, and the four are in regular contact, with the parents making life choices for their daughter together, and all four supporting her in every way they can. In an interview, the mom made it clear that they choose to respect everyone involved in their daughter’s life, believing it to be a reflection of who they are as parents.
While this type of blended family may not be for everyone, placing a child’s needs first after a divorce should be every parent’s goal. If one chooses a litigated divorce, it may be difficult to ever see the other parent in anything other than an adversarial light. A collaborative law divorce, on the other hand, gives two parents the chance to settle their differences cooperatively, but still in a legally binding fashion. An experienced lawyer who advocates alternative dispute resolution in British Columbia can help anyone who wants to explore this path.