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What is a "parenting marriage" (and why you might want one)

Many couples in long-term marriages discover that the romance in their relationship has permanently left the building. Yet, it can be quite difficult to reconcile their present state of discontent and disconnection with filing for divorce.

This is especially true when the spouses are parents of minor children. Even in the "best" divorces where the former spouses agree to co-parent their children together civilly, it's a fact that you will not be able to spend as much quality time with your kids once you divorce. So, what can these couples do?

Making a parenting marriage work

Some couples who no longer are intimate with one another choose to remain married in order to continue to rear their children in an intact, two-parent family.

Known as a parenting marriage, this type of relationship gives both parents equal and daily access to their children while all family members continue living together under the same roof.

Why would you choose this path?

For some couples, grand passion was never a substantial factor in their relationship to begin with. When intimacy between the two spouses completely dried up, it may not have been missed much or at all by either party.

In parenting marriages, sometimes the spouses may get along quite well otherwise. In others, however, the distance may have increased markedly in additional areas of their lives as well. The children and their needs and best interests may be the only binding tie remaining between the two individuals.

Staying together as co-parents can preserve financial stability for both parties, as there will be no need to maintain separate housing. Family dinners and vacations will continue to take place uninterrupted. The kids will still be viewing their parents as a united force working in tandem.

Why it might not work for you

A marriage devoid of intimacy will certainly not work for all couples. Some may view the lack of an intimate connection with their spouse as too frustrating to endure over time. Then, too, one or both spouses may wind up meeting and falling in love with other people with whom they feel deeply connected on all levels. Continuing to remain in a parenting marriage may become impossible at that point.

Of course, divorce is always an option if the parenting marriage is no longer working. Your Texas family law attorney can advise you at all steps of the way, as you may want to formalize the conditions of your parenting marriage in a stipulated contract between you and your spouse.

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