CO-PARENTING IS NOT ALWAYS THE BEST CHOICE FOLLOWING A DIVORCE
April 10, 2019
In the age of “conscious uncoupling,” it may seem like co-parenting is preferable to other types of child custody arrangements. However, while co-parenting may work for some in Colorado, there are instances in which co-parenting is not in the best interests of the child or the parents, for that matter.
For example, if a parent abuses alcohol or drugs, they may not be able to parent effectively, and they may not be able to provide the child with the consistency necessary to successfully co-parent. Parental neglect or abandonment are also situations in which co-parenting is not a good option.
If domestic violence is an issue, the violent parent will lash out at their ex or child in a way that causes breakdowns in communication or even puts the other parent or child in harm’s way. When this happens, co-parenting may not be a good option. Sometimes, one parent has a restraining order against the other parent. If so, co-parenting is simply not possible, as the parties cannot be in contact with one another.
If one parent moves frequently or without notice, co-parenting may not be successful, as this makes the child’s living arrangements unpredictable and inconsistent. When parents cannot rely on each other to be consistent or when parents simply live too far away from one another, co-parenting won’t work.
Parents need to respect one another to successfully co-parent. If a parent tries to alienate the child from the other parent, or if a parent remains resentful, angry or jealous of their ex, then they simply do not have the respect and unity needed to co-parent, nor will they be able to cooperate with one another in a way that makes co-parenting successful.
To co-parent effectively, parents must be able to work together amicably, communicate with one another, respect each other, and be both predictable but also flexible when needed. Parents need to be able to agree on how to raise their child and respect that their child needs to have a meaningful relationship with both of them. Divorce can cause a lot of hard feelings and sometimes abuse is even an issue. In situations like this, co-parenting may not be a good option for raising a child post-divorce, and other child custody options should be explored.