In a divorce, most parents share the same goal: they want to preserve time with their kids and obtain their fair share of parenting time. That is why many parents aim for a co-parenting arrangement. They often share an equal or roughly equal amount of parenting time as well as the responsibilities of raising their children. This requires a considerable amount of cooperation – or, at least planning.
Even though co-parenting is often the goal, it does not always work. This realization can be tough. Regardless of the reason why it might not work for different families, what can they do in these situations?
1. First, try to talk it out
This should always be the first step in any co-parenting matter or dispute when possible. It is not always easy to speak with an ex-spouse, especially about one’s concerns. However, co-parents should try to identify what the obstacle or issue is that they face and see whether there is a solution or compromise they can agree upon.
For example, common issues co-parents struggle with often include:
- Schedules changing or interfering with co-parenting
- Lack of consistent or productive communication
- Significant differences in parenting styles
These issues can disrupt the co-parenting arrangement and possibly even lead to disputes. Even so, identifying and discussing these matters can also help parents find solutions and adjust the parenting plan as needed.
2. Seek outside assistance
Sometimes parents might face serious conflicts but remain determined to make a co-parenting arrangement work. In these cases, it might help to involve a neutral third party, such as:
- A mediator
- A family counselor
Obtaining the assistance of a professional – as well as a different perspective – can help North Carolina parents navigate disputes effectively and make plans for successful co-parenting in the future.
3. Consider a different approach
Collaborative co-parenting is not always the right fit for everyone. That is not a bad thing, and there are other parenting arrangements that can fit a family’s needs.
For example, if co-parenting does not work, some parents try a parallel parenting arrangement. Parents still share parenting time and responsibilities, but they significantly reduce the amount of parental interaction and communication.
Families’ relationships change as members mature and grow. Thankfully, parents can modify their parenting agreements along with their family’s changing needs and circumstances.