After a divorce, parents may decide that the best thing for their children is to continue working together. Co-parenting can allow parents to jointly decide custody schedules and how their children are raised, such as their medical needs, education and religious upbringing.
When parents co-parent, there is often constant communication. This may mean rescheduling custody days, attending a school meeting or learning about difficulties their children are going through. However, if there’s a great deal of tension between parents, this constant communication may result in fighting.
If parents can’t work through their differences, then co-parenting may not work. This can be heartbreaking for parents who want to be part of their children’s lives. But, co-parenting isn’t the only option. Here’s what you should know:
Switching to a parallel parenting plan
If co-parenting isn’t working out, then parents may need to discuss alternatives. One common alternative is parallel parenting. Parallel parenting allows parents to keep a lot of their legal custody rights, but the communication between parents is limited. This often means parents can only communicate through texts or emails. Parents are also often given more independence as to how they raise their children.
What parallel parenting intends to do is allow each parent to maintain a place in their children’s life while reducing the possibility of parents fighting. This can improve a child’s emotional development and give them an upbringing that each parent agrees to.
Fighting for sole custody
Co-parenting and parallel parenting aren’t for everyone. If the difficulties between parents are due to a larger issue, then a parent may need to consider fighting for sole custody. Sole custody can allow a parent to gain full control of physical and legal custody rights.
Parents often need to learn about their legal rights before pushing for custody changes. Parents who understand their rights may have a favorable outcome.