There are differing opinions regarding co-parenting negotiations in high-conflict divorce cases in which couples cannot reach a child custody agreement and wherein one or both parties insist on pursuing sole custody. Each divorce situation is unique, and in order to minimize the negative effects that custody battles tend to have on children, it is important for both parents to consider all possible child custody options. Some practitioners are reluctant to recommend co-parenting because they believe it puts the children in the middle of the conflict and results in emotional harm for the children.
When divorcing couples are unable to reach an agreement and the conflict goes unresolved, children pay the price. Despite knowing this, there is no easy answer when it comes to reaching an amicable child custody arrangement or how best to divide time with children between parents.
Prior Research is Reviewed
Alternating weekends between parents was the go to answer in the past when resolving a child custody dispute. Research conducted over the years found that children who were regularly exposed to conflict moving from one parent’s home to the other suffered negative consequences. A more recent review of the research found that the harmful effects children experience due to conflict between their parents considerably decrease when children spend the same amount of time with each parent. It also helps when they do not have to make as many moves transitioning between their parents’ homes. Children feel protected and secure when they have a strong, loving connection to both parents. The positive aspects of shared parenting can outweigh the exposure to parental conflict.
In high conflict divorces, the adverse effects on children are more likely to be the product of the child losing contact with one parent as opposed to the struggle between parents. Children can manage both low and high conflict situations as long as both parents remain involved in their life. Research shows parental contact should not be restricted just because there is serious clashes between the parents.
Removing the Source of the Conflict
When parents are faced with the impending loss of their children because of a custody battle, fear escalates, often resulting in more intense conflicts. The hostility level of a parent can grow towards their ex-spouse when limits are placed on time with their children. Co-parenting is one option that can remove the threat of losing a child, therefore removing the source of the disagreement. Co-parenting redirects the parent’s focus on the needs of their children and to their parenting responsibilities, and away from their marital hostilities. Co-parents learn to cooperate with each other so constructive parenting plans can be implemented.
Experiencing some conflict is important to a child’s well-being, as not all differences are bad. Learning how to resolve disputes and move past them is a key life lesson. However, experiencing unresolved and persistent conflict can be harmful to children.
Towson Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Successfully Resolve Child Custody Issues
Towson child custody lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles work with divorcing couples to resolve child custody issues by negotiating fair co-parenting plans. If you are facing a child custody dispute, our Towson divorce lawyers will help you navigate the complexities of Maryland child custody law. Our offices are conveniently located in Towson, East Pikesville, and Hunt Valley, Maryland allowing us to represent families in Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County, Essex, Elliott City, Towson, Columbia, Bel Air and Westminster.
Submit an inquiry online or call 443-589-0150 for a free confidential consultation.