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What does it mean to co-parent?

Co-parenting is a word that is often used to describe joint child custody arrangements and is meant to describe an arrangement in which both parents take an active role in important decisions for their child even when they do not have physical custody. Co-parenting can be difficult, particularly when a marriage ended in part because of disagreements on parenting decisions.

In some cases when co-parenting is a part of the court-supervised child custody plan, parents must attend special classes to help improve their skills, which often comes down to better communication among parents.

When co-parenting classes are required but one parent fails to attend, that parent could be held in contempt of court, just as they would be for any other violation of a custody order. In a recent case involving R&B singer Usher, his ex-wife has asked that the court hold him in contempt for failing to show up to co-parenting classes and not including her in important decisions. The singer has full custody of the two children that they had together during their two-year marriage. The case has been in the news since an incident this summer when one of the children fell in a pool while under the care of Usher’s aunt. The incident caused the singer’s ex-wife to become concerned that her ex-husband is not properly supervising the children, although a court disagreed and found that despite the pool incident that it is reasonable to leave children in the care of a close family member such as an aunt. 

Source: New York Daily News, “Usher facing court battle with ex-wife Tameka over ditching co-parenting classes: report,” Chiderah Monde, Oct. 7, 2013. 

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