Equal parenting is the concept of equally and fairly dividing all duties and responsibilities regarding children after a divorce. It is an important concept to consider if your marriage is ending and you have children. While shared parenting can provide a number of benefits to children post-divorce, equal parenting is an ideal arrangement that is optimal for most children whose parents are divorcing. Even in a situation of high conflict between the parents, research shows that in households employing equal parenting, conflict is reduced.
Quality vs. Quantity of Time
“Quality time” is a phrase we hear often with regard to child rearing regardless of the state of the parents’ marriage. In a divorce the most contentious issue to be resolved can often be custody of the children and visitation rights. Where will they spend the bulk of their time and with whom? Some child development experts would say that the quality of attachments formed early in a child’s life is the most important factor in their well-being later in life. If that is true, then it can be argued that quantity of time spent together is crucial to forming those important attachments.
Equal parenting provides the ideal environment for the child to develop and maintain high quality relationships with both parents. With duties and responsibilities equally divided, both parents remain involved and are available to the children. Both remain as authoritative figures in the children’s lives, and both can be supportive in their day to day activities. The rituals performed together every day, such as waking and bedtime routines, getting to and from school, and mealtimes together are where attachment bonds are formed. Without quantity of time spent together, parents lose out on the opportunity to build and sustain a high quality relationship with their children. There is a direct correlation between quantity of time and quality of parent-child bond.
Primary Bonds and the Well-Being of Parents
Some child psychologists maintain that children develop a so-called primary bond with one parent or caregiver. To maintain this view, one would have to ignore the fact that a child could possibly have more than one primary attachment, or could feel comfortable turning to more than one person for support. In a situation where equal parenting exists and both parents are involved and committed to the process, then the child can form a “primary bond” with both parents.
Possibly the strongest argument in favor of equal parenting is that it removes the threat of “losing the child” to the other spouse. The well-being of parents is crucial as a foundation to a quality relationship with their children. A divorce filled with strife as to “who gets the kids” or the feeling that they have been taken, is not a good basis for a healthy relationship of any kind. Equal parenting also means the job of parenting is shared, resulting in one parent not becoming overwhelmed by the demands and responsibilities of raising children.
Bridgewater Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Navigate Child Custody Issues
If you are considering a divorce in New Jersey and want to find out more about equal parenting, our caring divorce lawyers in Bridgewater at Lyons & Associates, P.C. will help you decide what is best for you and your family. Call 908-575-9777 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout New Jersey including Somerset, Somerville, Mendham, Bridgewater, and Woodbridge.