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Divorced parents need to work together for children's benefit

You divorce your spouse, but you don't divorce your children. Children whose family has gone through a divorce need the security and comfort of feeling certain that both parents are still there for them and still love them. Children who have a high degree of involvement in their lives by both parents following a divorce are more likely to have a lower incidence of behavior problems, as well as staying in school and achieving better grades, according to a number of studies. One development in family law that responds to this reality is the program that offers shared parenting services that was put together by the Texas Attorney General's Office.

The office publishes an online directory of cooperative parenting services that can be searched by county, zip code or service provided. A major focus is encouraging noncustodial parents to get more fully involved in their children's lives. A phone hotline to make referrals and answer questions is also offered, as is a calendar that includes a mechanism for children and their parents to plan and schedule the time that a child will spend with each parent.

Divorcing parents who think it through realize that, despite the divorce, they will have to continue to communicate and cooperate with their ex-spouse over time to best provide for the education, health and social development of their children. To the extent possible, everyone benefits when this can be carried out in a relatively non-antagonistic basis, while acknowledging and respecting differences. Such cooperation is also necessary and beneficial when it involves unmarried parents whose relationship has ended.

Source: The Colorado County Citizen, "Shared Parenting Service Encourage Cooperation in Child Support Process" Greg Abbott, Sep. 18, 2013

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