Not all parents in Wisconsin may be able to create a healthy co-parenting relationship after a divorce. While maintaining positive communication is ideal, there might simply be too many negative feelings for parents to move forward in a cooperative manner. However, parents can share custody, or one might have visitation rights. The goal is to keep parental conflict to a minimum as this can be emotionally damaging to the kids.
For high-conflict post-divorce relationships, parallel parenting is often the best structure. In parallel parenting, parents try to avoid any direct contact at all. However, this requires a detailed plan. Parents might agree to share calendars or only communicate using email. In contrast, there is a great deal of communication and cooperation in traditional co-parenting.
Exes who successfully parallel parent are able to set aside the urge to try to control the other parent. They also tend to agree on major issues, such as what religion the child will be raised in or the child's medical care. However, these parents may still need to negotiate certain issues as they come up. Parallel parents should also keep in mind that their children may need a different arrangement as they get older. They might also be able to move closer to a co-parenting arrangement over time.
Parents in a high-conflict divorce might also wonder if they can negotiate an agreement for child custody out of court. There are many advantages to avoiding the courtroom. It can be less costly and less stressful. Mediation may be helpful to parents who are experiencing a lot of conflict. A trained mediator can help guide parents toward a resolution that is satisfactory to both of them. This differs from the adversarial approach of a courtroom where there may be a winning and a losing side.