How Co-Parenting Could Work for Heidi Klum’s Family, and yours..

Heidi Klum and her Husband Seal Henry Samuel are announcing their intention to divorce, by publishing this statement:

“While we have enjoyed seven very loving, loyal and happy years of marriage, after much soul-searching we have decided to separate. We have had the deepest respect for one another throughout our relationship and continue to love each other very much, but we have grown apart. This is an amicable process and protecting the well-being of our children remains our top priority, especially during this time of transition.”

They are parents to 4 children together, two boys and two girls, ranging in age from 2 to 7 years old.  These children are used to two parents who literally travel the world separately and together on a seemingly non-stop basis.  There homes are inMexicoandLos Angeles.  His music recording and promotion work takes place all over the globe, but primarily in theUK.  They each have busy successful worldwide careers.

So, what is their plan for an amicable process that protects the well-being of their children?

My first recommendation (if they asked me) would be co-parenting.  Co-parenting is more than having joint legal custody (in which both parties consult with each other on major life decisions effecting the kids), or even shared physical custody (where the parents each spend about one-half of the time with their children.  Maybe they live with mom Sunday morning through Wednesday dinner, and then switch.)

Co-parenting is a deeper commitment to continuing to consult with each other on an ongoing basis on the details of each child’s life.  It involves lots of telephone calls and in person conversations, plenty of passed notes and emails – all focused on the status of the children.

Co-parents are interested in more than “I took Jimmy to the dentist last week, you owe me $10.”  Co-parents have a lot of the same conversation post divorce as they may have had during marriage.  They just skip the non-kid conversations.

Here are some examples of co-parenting conversations:

“He did okay on the math test, but look at questions number 3 this afternoon. See if you can figure out what went wrong there.”

“I picked up the tickets for the dance recital.  Our 4 seats are all down front, so your mom will be able to take as many photos as she wants.”

Chances are that the reason a couple divorces has very little to do with either party’s parenting skills.  I frequently hear clients say, “he’s a great Dad, he just didn’t know how to be a husband” (or vice versa).  Co-parenting can empower the parents, and more importantly the children, to enjoy all the benefits of two good parents doing their best without the interference of a bad marriage.

What We Love:  In the midst of making one of the most difficult decisions of their lives; Heidi and Seal are prioritizing their children’s needs.  In doing so, they might make themselves happier also.

Read more:

Published by Sharon Oberst DeFala

Sharon Oberst DeFala has practiced low-impact safe divorce since 1992.

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