Doctor Spotlight

Written by Dr. Christine Profito

Drs. Debra Carter and Christine Profito are currently bringing their expertise in family mental health to the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Parenting Plan Revision Committee.  The efforts of this committee are to assist families within Manatee, Sarasota and Desoto counties as they navigate parenting through separation and divorce.

Dr. Carter and Dr. Profito, along with 12thJudicial Circuit legal experts, are working to integrate social science and law to provide a guide for families learning how to coparent effectively. One of the most difficult challenges facing parents at the time of separation is deciding how they will address issues concerning their children. Each family is different and coparenting through various developmental stages of childhood will continue to change. Putting the best interest of children must come first. Ending the parents’ relationship with each other is NOT the end of their child-parent relationship. Parents often do not realize how much parental conflict unintentionally hurts their children.

Coparenting is simply sharing responsibility and raising children together. It is cooperating in all matters pertaining to a child to promote the best interests of the child. When parents are functioning effectively, co-parenting helps to promote healthy emotional growth of infants, children and teenagers.