Shared parenting means when both parents bring up their children with affection and mutual understanding after their separation. Some other terms are also used for shared parenting, such as involved parenting, equal parenting, parallel parenting, and cooperative parenting. But shared parenting is generally used as a preferable term.
What is Shared Parenting?
Equal shared parenting is a challenging long-term parenting plan following the parents’ divorce. This plan should meet a child’s physical, emotional, and scholastic needs as they grow up. In shared parenting, both parents must play their role equally and earnestly; otherwise, it would cause mental and physical suffering for parents and children. It could be problematic, especially when there is a lack of understanding and flexibility between both parents.
Some law firms help the parents understand each other and provide the necessary guidelines to support their children in equal shared parenting so that they don’t feel left behind or unloved.
In this article, we have pointed out some of the major problems faced in equal shared parenting.
Child’s Custody and Parenting Time
In equal shared parenting, the children’s rights and responsibilities are allocated to both parents. The first and foremost issue that can arise is child custody and parenting time. Shared parenting does not necessarily mean spending exactly equal time with both parents. Parenting time is often called physical custody. The decision of parenting time could only be made smoothly if both parents show emotional and physical flexibility. In other cases, conflicts start between parents from this very initial stage.
Legal Custody and Decision Making
Legal custody means who will take the child’s most important life decisions such as religious upbringing, school placement, healthcare (physical and mental), taking part in co-curricular activities, and other important life decisions of the child. It could be challenging to decide whether these decisions be made with mutual agreement of both parents, or will the parents want to distribute the allocation of their child’s important decisions on particular topics between themselves? Mutual understanding and agreement of both parents in legal custody is the real challenge of shared parenting.
Child’s Financial Support
Another challenge in shared parenting is: how will the financial responsibilities for the child’s needs be shared? The sharing of financial support for a child’s needs includes clothing, providing healthy food, healthcare costs, health insurance, paying for interests and activities, providing books and school lunches, and other such financial responsibilities. One of the most challenging tasks in shared parenting is who will take the financial responsibility. Shared parenting plans also include the decisions like what should happen in case of the death of one parent or if any one of them becomes temporarily unable to take care of the child.
Rigidity Shown by Child
Even after all the issues are resolved happily between the parents, a major challenge arises when the child doesn’t show resilience and resists adapting to the change. He may also suffer from mental and psychological crises and behave abnormally.
The solution to these problems lies in both parents’ mutual understanding and resilience. Otherwise, equal shared parenting would cause physical and mental suffering for both parents and children.
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