Co-parenting is the relationship between divorcing spouses who must now share the responsibility of caring for their children while also working together to make their kids’ lives with each parent as normal as possible. To accomplish this, both parties must strive to be positive in their thoughts and actions. This includes putting aside any differences or animosity that may still linger, and for the most part, many parents end up succeeding in their efforts. But what happens if co-parenting does not work?
Not every marriage ends amicably. And even those that do can have their limitations. As a result, you or your former spouse may seemingly be unwilling or incapable of having low-conflict discussions about everything — including the kids. Even if things are good now, you may worry about the day when you can no longer communicate or compromise with each other.
This may lead to name-calling, angry text exchanges, harassment, avoidance, decision-making that harms the kids, and more.
You may not even want to be in the same room. So how on earth can you expect to co-parent with this person?
If You Cannot Co-Parent, Then What?
Co-parenting may not be possible for a variety of reasons, including cases of suspected family violence, abuse, and neglect. If this is the case for you, it may be more beneficial and safer for everyone to get the Court and law enforcement involved. In other situations, struggling to co-parent could come down to changes in living situations, new jobs, and new relationships. Also, one parent could be uncooperative in following an existing parenting plan. As a result, they may resort to interfering with your child’s routine, denying access to the children for important events, failing to adhere to custody orders, or even refusing to make scheduling adjustments.
The Court strives to foster a healthy relationship between parents and their children, but it is crucial to do what is in the child’s best interests when that is not possible. Thus, it may be time to let the Court and other appointed officials step in to reach a compromise.
Below are a few options that may come into play if co-parenting does not work:
- Establish a formal parenting plan through the Court.
- Modify the existing parenting plan.
- The Court may appoint a professional to assist (guardian ad litem, amicus attorney, or attorney ad litem)
- Require Court-appointed individual or family counseling.
- Restrict access to a child if the Court determines there is a threat to the child.
- Parents could turn to parenting apps to limit direct communication but still keep everyone on the same page.
Your Children Are Your Common Ground
Divorcing spouses who have children together often forget that when their marriage ends, a new co-parenting relationship with that former spouse begins – and they will need to work harder at this new relationship for the benefit of the children. Basically, it is not about you anymore. It is about the kids, who are clearly stuck in the middle and not at fault for your failed marriage.
Sure, working with your ex may not be an ideal situation, but if you can agree on one thing, let it be your children. Your children should be the common ground. Ensure that your kids feel loved and are happy. If there is a problem, show that you can work it out. And if necessary, seek professional guidance as a family. The more unified you and the other parent look — even if limitations still exist — the more unified you will be in your kids’ eyes. This leads to fewer problems in other areas of how you look to your kids.
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Call Nelson Law Group today!!
As a parent, an essential duty is to show your children what a healthy relationship looks like after divorce. While this may seem impossible at first, it is important that each of you puts your children’s interests ahead of your own. Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC, a call if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue.
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