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In Divorce And Other Family Law Matters

Understand the purpose of joint, parallel and sole custody

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Child Custody |

Parenting after a divorce can be eased with a custody arrangement. A custody arrangement can determine how involved parents are in their children’s lives. 

There are several child custody arrangements, including joint and sole custody and parallel parenting. Here is what you should know about each:

Making parenting decisions together

Parents can share custody under a joint custody or co-parenting arrangement. It is often believed that co-parenting serves a child’s best interests. Co-parents can work closely with each other to decide on major matters related to their children, such as where a child will go to school, if they have a religious upbringing or how their health concerns are addressed. Parents may agree to a joint custody arrangement because that means both parents are still involved in their child’s life and are responsible for providing for their needs.

Joint custody with limitations

Joint custody does not always work. This can depend on what caused a divorce and how parents communicate. If parents frequently fight about decisions, a better option might be parallel parenting. Parallel parenting allows both parents to be involved in their child’s life. However, parents can limit how often they communicate with each other and broaden how much autonomy they are given. 

Making parenting decisions alone

If a parent is unfit to raise a child because of extreme substance use, physical abuse or neglect, one parent may fight for sole custody. Sole custody can give one parent the right to raise their child without any input or participation from their child’s other parent. In some cases, the other parent is given some visitation rights so they can still be involved in their child’s life. 

Parents can reach out for legal help to learn about their options.