When you think about the perfect situation for your child, it is probably one in which they have access to both parents. You want them to have a life similar to what they had before your divorce, but you want to remove the conflict that they were seeing. You want them to finally be relaxed and happy.
For some parents, it’s easy to co-parent and share custody. For example, a couple that divorces amicably and with respect may be able to work together more easily in the future. They may be good at communicating and be able to move forward.
On the other hand, parents who go through particularly aggressive, threatening divorces may not have a good relationship with each other. They may have animosity that bleeds into their interactions. They may not have good communication, and their children may still be dealing with conflict.
When there are problems in communication, everyone suffers
Something that you have to realize early on is that trouble with communication will lead to everyone in the relationship suffering. You won’t have a good co-parenting relationship, and your child will continue to see conflict despite the divorce.
There are times when co-parenting may not be in the best interests of your child. In those cases, you may be interested in seeking sole or primary custody, minimizing the other parent’s role in their life. Some times when that may be appropriate include when:
- There are signs of abuse or a history of abuse
- Parental alienation is occurring
- The other home does not have space for the child
- Parents can’t agree on decisions about the child’s care (sole legal or physical custody may be a good choice)
Typically, courts like to see both parents continue to be a part of their child’s life after divorce, but that isn’t always possible while also protecting a child’s best interests. Co-parenting can work for some people, but it’s not always the right option. Your attorney will help you if you are struggling with your custody arrangements and are worried about the impact of conflict between yourself and your ex-spouse on your child.