Co-parenting with a separated parent can sometimes seem impossible. In cases involving mental illness, domestic abuse, special needs children, etc., co-parenting may well be impossible and sole legal custody is the best option. However, since joint custody is presumed in Wisconsin, if at all possible, the parents will probably have to communicate fairly often on issues affecting their children. Sometimes, though, the parents may be polar opposites in terms of personality, parenting style, beliefs, etc. If communication is extremely poor, the parents can work with a co-parenting counselor. A coparenting counselor is usually a social worker or mental health professional who helps parents mediate solutions to their disputes. This process is often effective by helping parents see each other’s point of view and find a compromise that is best for the child. The process also helps keep parents out of court. Although this type of service is rarely covered by insurance, it is usually far less expensive than court litigation, and often very successful. There are several skilled coparenting counselors in the Dane, Sauk, and Columbia county areas. Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss whether coparenting counseling could work for you, or whether formal legal assistance is the best option.
In the next blog, I will discuss tips for improving communication, or at least making it less stressful.