In the majority of divorces, parents share the allocation of parental responsibilities. These responsibilities include decision-making and parenting time. The reason for this is simple: children tend to do best when both parents are raising them, even if those parents divorce and are no longer cohabiting.

However, even though co-parenting is most often better for the children, it may not be the easiest option for the adults. This is particularly true if you have a difficult ex-spouse. If that is the case for you, you may be wondering if there is a chance that courts might allocate parental responsibility solely to you. However, this outcome is rare, and is generally reserved for situations where one parent either struggles with addiction,  has a history of abuse or other unfitness or dysfunction.

What responsibilities do parents have?

There are two types of responsibilities parents generally share when they divorce. The first is decision-making, which can apply to matters of religious upbringing, medical care, education, extracurricular activities and possibly other issues. The second area is parenting time, which can involve both where the child will live as well as the schedule upon which the child or children will move between residences. Sometimes, a child resides at one residence but the other parent has visitation rights. The visitation may have third-party supervision if there is a fear of the child’s welfare based on serious endangerment of the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional environment.

How can I cope with co-parenting?

Co-parenting is most often in the best interest of the child, even if your relationship with your ex-spouse is not as easy as you might like. If you are trying to parent with a difficult ex-spouse, the best advice is to keep the relationship as businesslike and focused on the kids as possible.