When people get divorced after they have children, the family doesn’t cease to exist. Rather, it is changed into a binuclear family, a term coined by a family therapist and university professor. The binuclear family has become one of the most common family structures in Colorado and across the country, and it’s important to plan for it when parents get divorced. A survey conducted by an online magazine suggested that the most important things to keep in mind are compartmentalizing the relationships and creating a co-parenting agreement.

When a person is married with children, they play the dual roles of parent and spouse. When the marriage ends, it is important to compartmentalize the parental relationship separately from the relationship with the ex-spouse. This protects the children from the adult spousal and divorce issues. Parents who fail to compartmentalize their relationships risk putting their children under undo stress.

A co-parenting agreement is a written document that sets forth how the parents will work together to raise the children following a divorce. The most important considerations are where the children will spend which periods of time as well as education, bed times, religion and medical treatment. It’s a good idea prior to and during the creation of the co-parenting agreement to discuss major schooling and health care decisions for the children to get an idea of where the parties are.

People who are approaching a divorce in Colorado might want to schedule a consultation with an attorney. An attorney who has experience practicing family law may help by discussing the situation with the client and drafting a co-parenting agreement that meets the needs and goals of the people involved. An attorney might develop a child custody plan that is acceptable to the parties and the court, or they might argue for custody on behalf of their client during family court hearings.