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Co-Parenting

Co-parenting - Co-parenting (or Coparenting) means sharing physical or legal custody of a child when you are separated or divorced.

Here are a few things to consider when you are Co-parenting a child with someone who suffers from a personality disorder. Click on the Links for more information.

Personal Safety - Personal Safety is a list of actions that are designed to keep situations from escalating and to make sure that Physical, Emotional and Verbal abuse is avoided or stopped at the first moment it begins to happen. It contains ideas on when to stop the conversation, when to leave the room and when to call the police.

Put Children First - Put Children First means making decisions based on "what is in the best interests of the children", regardless of the consequences for the parents and any other parties involved.

Talking To Kids - How to talk to your children about the personality-disordered behaviors of other adults in the family.

Parallel Parenting - Parallel Parenting is a form of parenting in which a divorced couple assume or are assigned specific parental duties while minimizing or eliminating contact with each other, thus minimizing exposure of the children to potential conflict.

Parental Alienation Syndrome - When a separated parent convinces their child that the other parent is bad, evil or worthless.

Sexual Allegations in Divorce (SAID) - Sexual Allegations In Divorce (SAID) is a common occurrence in disputed child custody cases in which one parent makes false or exaggerated claims about sexual abuse of a minor child at the hands of the other parent.

Child Abduction - Child Abduction is a serious, yet common occurrence when people who suffer from personality disorders become involved in a custody dispute. Approximately 82% of more than 200,000 child abductions every year are perpetrated by family members.

Take the long term view.

You have to look at the long term and decide where you want to be in 5 years from now. Things are likely to get worse, not better, immediately after you play the divorce card. You may face all kinds of threats and accusations that you never imagined. Others of you will be hoovered and offered the world by your spouse or SO if you will just stay and work things out. You need to keep your eye on what is in the best interests of your children and yourself long-term.

Don't go it alone.

Leaving can be one of the loneliest experiences in the world. You are giving up on "the dream" of a happy relationship and you will grieve and mourn for the loss of something that was important to you. This is a time to surround yourself with as much support as you can – from sound legal representation and advice to good friends, responsible and supportive family members, support groups, message boards like this, therapists and counselors. You will go through the roller coaster of emotions. Fill your life with as many strong allies and good things as you can to help you cope.

Hope.

There is a life after divorce. You will lose something, but at the end you can find yourself on the other side, out of the fog - free from the fear and the obligation and the guilt. Making your own decisions, no longer trying to push the rock up the hill. Separation may only be the lesser of two evils, but it is still better to choose the lesser.

Many of us have walked the path you are on, and survived, won our children, our security and our dignity. We salute those of you who are still on the road and wish you our best.

US Child Custody Statistics

Many people believe that mothers are naturally better caregivers than fathers. And the US courts seem to agree. US Divorce Statistics show that a divorcing mother is 7 times more likely to retain sole custody of her children than a father:

USA 1990 Custody Statistics (19 States reporting) Percentage
Sole possession granted to mother 72.5%
Sole possession granted to father 10.3%
Joint possession 15.7%
Possession granted to other person(s) 1.4%

Source: http://www.divorcepeers.com/stats17.htm

Fathers, who want to protect their children from an abusive mother, are sometimes afraid to take legal action because they fear:

  • Facing ridicule or disbelief from police or social services.
  • Losing all contact with their children at the hands of a gender-biased legal system
  • Facing steep legal costs.
  • Facing abuse themselves at the hands of the perpetrator
  • Being judged by their communities, families and friends.

Child Support Statistics

When it comes to child support, US census data indicates that:

  • 79.6% of custodial mothers receive a child support award
  • 29.9% of custodial fathers receive a child support award

US census data also indicates that fathers are more likely to fulfil their child support obligations than mothers:

  • 43% of moms required to pay child support are "deadbeat moms" - i.e. they default on 100% of the money they owe,
  • 32% of dads required to pay child support are "deadbeat dads" - i.e. they default on 100% of the money they owe.

One of the reasons that "deadbeat dads" get most of the bad press in the popular media is that there are a lot more of them - primarily for 2 reasons:

  • There are 7 times more fathers than mothers who do not have primary custody of the children.
  • Fathers are 3 times more likely than mothers to be ordered to pay child support than their female counterparts.

Source: 2002 Fox News Article

Recommended Links:

Here are some books and links that might be of use.


On Line Support

There is a section of our Support Forum called Co-Parenting and secondary Relationships which is dedicated to supporting people who find themselves Co-Parenting a child with someone who suffers from a personality disorder.


For More Information & Support...

If you suspect you may have a family member or loved-one who suffers from a personality disorder, we encourage you to learn all you can and surround yourself with support as you learn how to cope.

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