Co-parenting is not always the right answer

The general consensus in the family law world is that continuing to spend time with both their parents after a divorce is what's best for children. As such, co-parenting is often highly encouraged when figuring out a parenting agreement. However, this might not always be the best idea. Wisconsin residents might like to know about instances when co-parenting might not work.

The biggest issues preventing co-parenting often involve situations where sharing custody would not be safe for a parent or child. This may occur when a parent has a history of violence, or ex-spouses have restraining orders against one another. One parent may be emotionally or physically abusive or might have abandoned or neglected a child in the past.

There are some behaviors that prevent co-parenting even if neither parent is abusive or violent. For instance, those with antisocial personality disorder or narcissism do not have the capability to co-parent. Other mental states that hinder parental ability occur when someone is actively struggling with substance abuse. Drug and alcohol problems impair cognitive function and cause erratic behavior.

Co-parenting also cannot work when parental alienation is present. This happens when a person tries to poison the children against the other parent. This ends up harming a child's relationship with both parents. When an individual tries to control his or her ex, this indicates a lack of respect and also does not allow for co-parenting.

In situations where parents have trouble working together, figuring out child custody and support issues can be difficult. Arrangements involving conflict are often less flexible and may require an attorney's assistance. This could prevent the need for modification later, which could take a relatively long time and may be difficult to achieve. Child support and custody modifications are more likely if a change in circumstance occurs, like one parent losing a job.

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