Parents who have gone through divorce often have joint child custody rights. Joint custody allows co-parents to work together after divorce to raise their children. Each parent in a joint custody plan has some physical and legal custody rights.
Co-parents who share physical custody divide out days, weeks and months when their children physically reside with their parents. Legal custody allows each parent to discuss how to raise their children. Legal custody decisions, for example, may include where children go to school, if they have a religious upbringing, if they join a sport or which parent is responsible for attending their children’s doctor appointments.
These decisions often require a lot of communication and compromise. Co-parents can’t always work together very well, particularly if one of them is holding a lot of anger and resentment over the breakup. If a co-parenting plan doesn’t work out, then parents may need to consider other alternatives:
A parallel parenting plan might be the solution
Co-parents may communicate daily. This communication often involves what each parent expects the other to do, rescheduling custody hours and updating each parent about what’s happening in their children’s lives.
Co-parents can still end up arguing about major decisions. If there are constant fights between co-parents that harm their children’s well-being, then parents may need to consider making a parallel parenting plan. Parallel parenting means each parent communicates as little as possible, often through text or email. The decisions each parent makes for their children are not as affected by the other. This attempts to minimize fights between parents and shield their children from the conflict.
Attempting to switch from a co-parenting plan to a parallel parenting plan isn’t always easy. Parents may need to understand their legal options when making decisions that could affect their children.