University of Missouri Professor Marilyn Coleman and Dr. Mindy Markham interviewed 20 women who shared physical custody of children with ex-partners. Half of the women reported amicable relationships with their ex’s. The other half reported combative relationships in the beginning that improved over time.
“To me, it’s almost as if the parents in the bad-to-better relationships matured,” Coleman said. “Mostly, it’s because the parents began focusing on their children. The parents saw how upset their arguments made their kids, so they decided to put their differences aside and focus on what was best for the children.”
“The goal for divorced parents should be to maintain the best co-parenting relationships possible by moving past prior relationship issues and focusing on children’s well-being,” Coleman said.
Shared Physical Custody Usually Works
Although the sample was small, the result reflects my own experience as a divorce lawyer. Once the stress and fighting between spouses is resolved by agreement or trial, the parties can then calm down and focus on their children.