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What if co-parenting doesn’t work?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | Child Custody

Child custody is a legal arrangement that determines each parent’s rights and responsibilities in their child’s life. Parents can have legal custody to decide how their child is raised, such as if their child goes to public or private school or is taught at home. Parents may also have physical custody, which determines a parent’s responsibility to maintain a child’s daily routine. 

Parents often share responsibilities through co-parenting because many courts believe that it’s in a child’s best interest. Co-parenting means that parents split days when they are responsible for their child. A child custody schedule is made to work around each parent’s work and school schedules. This can also mean parents have to communicate frequently after a divorce to maintain their child’s life and each parent’s expectations.

However, co-parenting doesn’t always work. The cause of a divorce, such as communication problems may create difficulties for parents who co-parent. Or, there may be other issues that cause a parent to seek alternative custody options. Here’s what you should know:

Have you tried parallel parenting?

There’s an alternative to co-parenting and that’s parallel parenting. If the co-parenting issues are related to communication, then parallel parenting may ease the difficulties. Parallel parenting allows parents to limit communication with each other. This often means parents will email or text each other when necessary. Parents who are parallel parenting may also have more autonomy with their children.

Do you need sole custody?

If the problems with co-parenting are much larger than communication difficulties, then one parent may consider fighting for sole custody. Sole custody can give one parent full legal and physical custody. This can not only give a parent more control over their child’s life but also place their child in a safer environment. The other parent may have some visitation rights. 

If you’re researching child custody options, you may benefit from reaching out for legal help.