Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P.


Family law: what if co-parenting isn't right for my family?

Though a couple may have similar ideals when they get married to one another in Texas, over time the couple may drift apart for various reasons and decide that they can no longer continue their relationship. There are a number of family law issues that arise when a couple is going through a divorce, but one of the most difficult aspects is of deciding custody and visitation with regards to children.

Many studies over the past years have demonstrated that children flourish when both parents are involved in their upbringing after a divorce. This is perhaps why co-parenting has been on the rise -- it has shown to reduce conflict levels in the house and raise resilient children. By agreeing to maintain equal or equivalent responsibility for children's upbringing, children have the ability and the right to maintain stable relationship and access to both parents. This positive bond ensures children are psychologically and behaviorally better adjusted.

Even though most parents want the best for their children, sometimes co-parenting is just not an option. Emotions can run high, and when parents are in constant conflict with one another, this can prevent them from communicating about drop-offs or making shared decisions. In these situations, parallel parenting might be another option to consider. Through parallel parenting, parents disengage from one another and have limited direct contact with each other, but maintain stable relationships with their children. This can be achieved by limiting communication to non-personal issues related to the children, not changing the parenting schedule without written agreement and sharing information in writing or through a calendar. Over time, successful parallel parenting may lead the way to co-parenting, once the dust has settled.

Where some solutions work for one family, others may find different arrangements suit them. There is no one-size fits all parenting plan and it is important to keep in mind that parents have to do what works for them and is in their children's best interests. An attorney may be able to provide legal options.

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