A successful co-parenting relationship is the key to maintaining a peaceful, stable, and pleasant life for your child after your breakup or divorce. But the journey to developing an amicable co-parenting relationship with your ex can be turbulent.
When you split up with someone you have a child with, you must take the high road. All the immature, hurtful things you feel like doing amidst breaking up must take a backseat for the greater good of your child. Although being the bigger person is a decision all parents should make in these circumstances, it isn't a choice that they always do make.
With this in mind, many parents still feel like creating their own custody arrangement is the best course of action. Parents are drawn to this option because they can make their own rules without wasting ample time and money on retaining an attorney and undergoing the judicial process. But refusing to set legal boundaries can be a huge mistake that costs you a lot more in the long run.
Just because you decide to always follow the guidelines you've set with your ex, doesn't mean that your ex will do the same, and without legal recourse, they won't be held accountable for going back on their word. For example, let's say that over the summer, you and your ex agreed that your child would be with you on weekdays, and will be dropped off with your ex on weekends. But one day, you get a phone call saying that plans have changed and your child will be staying with your ex for a few more days. You can demand your ex to bring your child back as scheduled, but they don't necessarily have to do anything without a legally enforceable contract.
This isn't even the worst case scenario. Some parents experience losing all contact with their child or getting their child withheld from them for long periods of time. Others receive word that their ex has moved to a completely different state with their child. This is why going to court to solidify a custody arrangement is ideal in most co-parenting situations.
If your parental rights are not protected by the courts, your ex can strip those rights from you without repercussions. When there is a custody agreement in place, the other parent would have to get approval from the courts prior to modifying any aspect of a custody agreement. For the courts to consider making changes to a joint custody ruling, each parent would be responsible for providing compelling reasons for these changes (or for refuting them), while also ensuring both of their parental rights are intact.
Pennsylvania Family Law Attorney
Regardless of if your co-parenting situation is cordial or difficult, having an unbiased person to help mediate such a touchy situation is beneficial. Many people perceive going to court as a thing that “bitter” parents do when they want to get back at their ex-partner, but that couldn't be further from the truth. You are ensuring that you, your ex, and most importantly, your child are granted protections.
Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm is here to help you resolve your child custody issues. For a consultation, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.