Protecting What Matters Most

What are the other options besides joint custody? 

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Child Custody

Many courts would agree that joint custody is in the best interests of children. Joint custody would mean that both parents make decisions for their children and work around a custody schedule. This often means parents are communicating with each other often to decide what is best for their children, such as where they will go to school or who is responsible for taking them to after-school activities, for example. 

Joint custody does not always work. The cause of divorce (e.g., communication difficulties, parenting differences or negligence) may make it difficult for parents to make decisions without causing conflict. There are alternatives to joint custody, including parallel parenting and sole custody. Here is what you should know: 

What is parallel parenting?

Parallel parenting is similar to joint custody. Both parents can decide how their children are raised and when each parent sees their children with a parallel parenting arrangement. The largest difference with parallel parenting is that parents will communicate with each other less. The idea is that parallel parenting reduces arguments between parents and gives them more autonomy over their children without having to limit either parent’s rights.

What is sole custody?

If joint custody and parallel parenting do not work because a parent is seen as unfit, then a parent may fight for sole custody. The parent with sole custody would make decisions for their children and be responsible for providing for their basic needs. The other parent may be responsible for paying child support and given some visitation rights. Otherwise, the other parent may have very limited rights over their children.

If you need to learn about your child custody options when thinking about the well-being of your children, then it can help to reach out for legal help to learn more.


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