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Custody plans for when co-parenting is impossible

When married couples seek to expand their family, they are opening up their heart for more relationships. These relationships tend to be strong, causing parents to fight for these relationships in the event of dissolution.

Co-parenting is a common approach, especially for those seeking joint and equal custody. But what happens if parents cannot get along? Whether they had strife between them prior to divorce or they arose because of the divorce process, parents need to determine if co-parenting is their best option and if they can make it work even if they view it as impossible right now.

Because co-parenting and collaboration is on trend right now, many divorcing and divorced parents seek to make this parenting plan work. However, it is important to note when this custody arrangement is just not right for the parents and children involved. This includes situations where a parent is actively abusing alcohol, drugs or another substance, is currently incarcerated, is violent or has threatened violence, there is an active restraining order by one parent against the other, a parent has neglected or abandoned their child, a parent is actively alienating their child from the other parent, there is too much friction between parents or there are frequent and unexpected moves by a parent.

When co-parenting is obviously impossible, parents have other options. Parallel parenting is possible, as well as sole custody. Parallel parenting is a form of shared parenting that does not require parents to be in consistent communication like co-parenting does. This type of child custody can benefit the children because there is less parental conflict to observe and the child can still have positive relationships with both parents.

It is never easy to go from seeing your child all off the time to only half of the time or less. This can make a parent emotional, resentful and even spiteful. Because this is not an ideal foundation for a co-parenting relationship, divorcing parent should understand what custody arrangement options they have and how they can ultimately meet the best interests of their child.

Source: Goodmenproject.com, "When Co-Parenting Is Impossible," Dec. 16, 2017

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