By: Natasha Archary
Co-parenting can be a tricky situation if both parents don’t see eye-to-eye on matters that pertain to the child. In such situations, the family courts can intervene to ensure that the best interest of the child is prioritised with a parenting plan.
Once a relationship is severed things co-parenting can become a messy territorial battlefield between wanting to prove a point and taking control. It’s the ultimate power struggle between two individuals who once shared intimacy and now can’t stand to be in the same room together.
Another common factor is when one parent shows little to no interest with regards to the child/ren. Taking no responsibility for the welfare, development, or financial support in raising and caring for the child.
As a parent, your primary concern should always be the child.
Finding commonality should come easily when your priority is ensuring the safety, educational, nutritional, health, and wellbeing of the child is met.
Pettiness and selfish behaviour can blur the lines of fairness between parents once estranged. There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your ongoing feud with the other parent affecting your child’s emotional state.
Conflict can leave a traumatic residue and its toxicity is harmful to the child. Growing up watching angry parents hurl hurt and resentment toward each other creates a cycle of abusive mannerisms.
According to the Institute of Family Studies, there is no relationship that is entirely free from conflict and disagreement. Research suggests that children from as young as six months show signs of distress when parents fight.
Intervention may be necessary if both parents are unable to reach an agreement with regards to the child’s upbringing. Family court may be the only option to bridge the divide and create a working parenting plan that is legally binding.
This plan will detail all arrangements between the two of you in raising the child/ren amicably. From educational requirements including aftercare, visitation, and right to access down to the pick-up and drop-off stipulations. A violation of the parenting plan may be brought to the court’s attention and in severe instances, the right to access may be denied.
As much as one would like to give the other parent the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the safety of children in this day and age and the rise in abuse cases, a parenting plan is a necessity. Regardless of how well you both co-parent, it’s in your child’s best interest to approach things with a level-head and to follow the ambit of the law.