What If Shared Custody Doesn’t Work After A Divorce?
Divorce can be tough on everyone involved, especially when children are involved. It’s no secret that navigating the complexities of co-parenting can be challenging. Even with the best intentions and efforts, shared custody may not always work out as planned. So, what do you do when shared custody doesn’t work after a divorce? Here are some possible solutions.
1. Seek Professional Help
One thing that can help in such a situation is seeking the advice and guidance of a professional like a family counselor or mediator. These experts can help you identify and resolve any issues that may be causing problems in the shared custody arrangement. Sometimes, one parent may refuse to cooperate with the other parent or is less present for the children than expected, leading to consistency problems in childcare responsibilities. A parenting coordinator can help parents develop communication and negotiation skills so they can work together to create a co-parenting plan. With mediation, parents can resolve legal disputes without going to court. The mediator creates a neutral ground for parents to resolve differences in the best interests of their children.
2. Revisit the Custody Agreement
If shared custody isn’t working, it’s possible that the original custody agreement is not the best fit for your situation. In this case, it may be useful to revisit the agreement with the help of an experienced family lawyer. This legal professional will help you understand your options and work with you to create a new arrangement that better fits your needs and those of your children. The new agreement may involve changing the custodial time allocation or the type of custody arrangement.
3. Consider Changing Visitation Arrangements
If you’re finding that the current visitation arrangements aren’t working, you may need to make changes. For instance, if the children are moving between homes too frequently, this could be causing disruption to their daily routine. If this is the case, you may need to adjust the visitation schedule, so they have more consistent home environments. In some cases, you might need to consider supervised visits for one parent or even a change to sole custody in the best interests of the children.
4. Modify the Co-Parenting Strategy
If the current co-parenting strategy is not working, it’s time to modify it. You may want to explore alternative options like parallel parenting. Unlike co-parenting where both parents make big decisions for their children and communicate frequently, parallel parenting is about limiting communication between parents. Each parent has their own parenting house rules, goals, and schedules for the child. They have limited communication between themselves, instead giving all communications to come directly from the children. This approach reduces conflict by keeping communication minimal and focused on essential concerns.
5. Find Alternate Childcare Solutions
Sometimes, shared custody arrangements fail to provide consistency in childcare responsibilities, leading to frustration, and adversely affecting children. In such situations, it may be necessary to explore alternative childcare solutions beyond shared custody, such as enlisting the help of other family members or close friends. Sometimes, parents can’t agree on a parenting plan, and one of them can ask a judge for a temporary order of sole custody until a final order is made.
6. Revisit the Reasons for Divorce
Finally, if shared custody isn’t working, it’s essential to assess why the relationship was ended in the first place. If certain issues from the broken relationship show up in the co-parenting relationship, then you might want to seek a professional child custody lawyer to help address these matters, which may help avoid tension and improve parenting abilities.
When shared custody isn’t working, it’s crucial to remember that you and your ex-spouse need to work together to find a solution that puts the best interests of your children first. This may require revisiting the custody arrangements, modifying your co-parenting strategy, working with a legal representative or counselor, or seeking alternate sources of childcare. Whatever steps you decide to take, it’s crucial to remain calm, open to communication, and committed to finding a solution that works in the best interests of your children.
Categorized in: Shared Custody