Child custody is hardly a new legal challenge. However, the way that parents – and the courts – approach custody-related issues can look very different today compared to a generation ago.
In many ways, today’s trends make it easier, faster and more peaceful for parents to reach decisions and resolve conflicts. Knowing what these trends can help parents navigate the complicated scenarios they face now and in the future.
The nesting trend
Traditionally, custody arrangements involve a child moving back and forth between parents’ homes according to parenting schedules.
However, nesting can alleviate the stress of children continually moving back and forth. In this approach, children remain in one home full-time – the nest. Parents then move between the nest and their individual residences.
Nesting offers a unique way to preserve a child’s sense of stability and familiarity during a tumultuous time. That said, it is not the right solution for everyone. Parents must be amicable and respectful of each other’s space in the nest for nesting to work. It is also expensive to maintain three separate residences between two parents.
The lifestyle protection trend
Parents raise children differently today, thanks to trends like dietary restrictions, managing mental health and making environmentally-friendly decisions. Parents who have specific thoughts on these and other modern issues can work together to maintain consistency in their parenting after divorce.
With dispute resolution options like mediation, parents can define rules and boundaries for addressing these topics as they raise a child together but separately.
The technology trend
Technology can be a huge help for parents who share custody. There are countless digital tools to assist parents when it comes to:
- Making a co-parenting schedule
- Tracking child support payments
- Communicating respectfully
- Sharing information
- Keeping kids and parents connected
Whether today’s tools automate or facilitate aspects of co-parenting, they can be quite valuable.
That said, technology can also present difficulties when it comes to a child’s use. Issues like screentime and responsible use of the internet and social media can be challenges parents struggle to tackle as they co-parent.
Trends may come and go, even when it comes to parenting. Thus, parents would be wise to carefully consider both the opportunities and the obstacles that come with today’s co-parenting trends.