For those that might not be conversant with this type of parenting, it is the one that parents adopt after a divorce or a separation where the child spends more less the same time with each of the parents.
Ideally, the child will move from one parent’s home to another but there is also another form of arrangement known as the Bird’s nest where the child will stay in one home and the parents alternate around that.
For this type of parenting to work, the time that the child spends with each of the family members is supposed to be equal. Anything less than 35% can’t be regarded as shared parenting.
This is more so the case because the intention of this plan is to ensure that both parents still take equal care of their children and also none of them is superior.
The alternative of this is where one parent takes charge of caring for the child while the other takes care of the responsibility. However, in this scenario, there are chances that the child will lose contact partially or entirely with one of the parents.
However, this type of parenting is a hotly contested issue and most parents are not happy about with most women. Their representative women groups stating that fathers should be comfortable with whatever contact they are offered with no legal recourse whatsoever and as one would expect, the fathers are opposed to this.
The benefits of this type of parenting.
While this mode of parenting may not be very common among the separated parents, it does have a lot of advantages that include;
• The child is assured of continued family life and nurturing from both of the parents instead of having just one parent.
• It helps to reassure the child that even though the parents have separated, he still has both of them and more than that either of their dwellings is also their home.
• Helps to quell the myth that one of the parents is caring while the other is absent.
• Ensures that both parents are in-charge of the discipline of the child as opposed to having just one parent that is tasked with this duty while the other is viewed as the fun parent.
• As opposed to a time-limited contact, this arrangement ensures that a child is able to get a meaningful relationship with both of his parents.
• It also helps to ensure that the parents have an unending role in their child’s life.
• Enforces the parents to come together for the upbringing and the benefit of their child.
• Parents have equal responsibilities on responsibilities and care of the child.
• The child can be taken on holiday by either of the parents.
• Ensures that each parent is able to provide and wants to provide a home for their child.
• Also ensures the child that; should one parent pass away they still have a home that they can go to.
Making this sort of parenting work.
For shared parenting to work, there are three factors that have to be met:
• The child and their needs should be prioritized and the child’s opinion sort after on the arrangements as time moves on.
• Supportive, cooperative parenting has to be agreed upon and the arrangements have to be flexible.
• Both households should be able to make the child feel comfortable and at home.
Should there be a conflict of interest in any parent, they should be able to put it aside and look out for the interests of the child.
The parents should also make sure that they do not interfere with each other’s parenting, they have to compromise unless the child is put at risk. The parenting methods maybe different but the goal is the same.
In the event that the parents have an outstanding issue, there are ways that they can be able to explore that can make this type of parenting work.
For instance, they can have handovers and the best way to do this would be picking the child up from school or through intermediaries.
If your partner has an issue about say your drinking or driving. You can simply take an undertaking with the court where you vow not to do the things that are raising concern. From there, if you break the vows, then the court can fine or imprison you.
Shared parenting and the courts
Recently, the courts have found the number situations in which shared parenting is ideal to grow and consequently, some of the difficulties that have faced this type of arrangement have been solved.
The courts are now viewing shared parenting as the default method of parenting and will order sole residence in very exceptional circumstances. This has been evidenced by their tendency to order this kind of parenting in parents that have conflicts and even those that live quite some distance apart.
Here are some of the things that you should consider before you opt for shared parenting.
• How far apart the two parents live.
• Are there any allegations about you that have been made by the other parent?
• Do you know if the mother is still breastfeeding the child?
• If you have appropriate and comfortable accommodation for your child.
• How likely are you to be away from home for long periods like weeks or months?
• Are you able to do the parental chores and cook for your children?
CAFCASS will have to be involved to ascertain issues like the suitability of your home to your child, who is responsible for the child when you’re aware and the suitability of your news partner.to do this, they will come into your home and carry out the background checks.
Plan your parenting properly with the most important questions in mind like why you should be in your child’s life. To make sure your plan is leak-proof you can ask the court to send you a booklet on parenting plans.
Using spreadsheets, make sure you detail all the time that the child has stayed with you. The essence of this is so that you can show the judge that you have the ability to take care of your child.
You have to be able to show how involved you have been in the youngster’s life so as to become a paragon of parenthood.
You should also be prepared that to prove that single parenting could hurt your child’s welfare and how it violates his right to be in a family. For his education, you can prove how involved you have been through his homework.
This way you’re armed so that should the case go to a court of law, you’re more than prepared to prove to the judge that shared parenting is the best option for your child.