In Part I of Custody Battles: How Bad Could It Get?, we learned how conflicts over religion and in-laws led to the unraveling of Jake and Abby’s marriage and launched a custody battle. Jake declared that Abby’s desire to raise 5-year-old Max was confusing their son. Abby alleged that Jake didn’t really want more time with Max and was going to hand him over to his meddlesome mother. The judge ordered the couple to share custody and resolve their issues in therapy — a tall order indeed. What happened next? Read more
Some people will never be able to co-parent effectively. No amount of mediation, therapy, or positive thinking will get them there. Sound familiar? If you are stuck in a high conflict divorce, or if the conflict continues although your divorce was finalized long ago…it may be time to learn about parallel parenting, a form of parenting that can ease the tension when parents don’t get along.
Co-parenting, viewed by therapists and family law professionals as the gold standard for post-divorce parenting, works when both parents are willing and able to set aside their personal grievances and support their child’s relationship with the other parent. To do this, both parents need to be able to communicate calmly, follow the conditions of the custody and child support order, and agree on a plethora of child-related issues such as medical care, education, religious training, and discipline.
Negotiating child rearing is a tall order, even for two people who love each other. It’s an even taller order for two reasonably well-adjusted people whose irreconcilable differences have led them to end their marriage. But if both people are determined to keep their children off the battleground of their divorce, they can usually learn the skills necessary to become successful co-parents.
High-conflict personalities, however, frequently lack the motivation to co-parent because, by definition, they are unable to work through their anger at the other party. Read more
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