As part of finalizing your divorce, one of the things that the courts require is a comprehensive parenting plan for moving forward with your children. In most cases, this means establishing co-parenting expectations so that you and your former spouse can work together to make major parenting decisions. Unfortunately, co-parenting isn't for everyone. If your divorce is hostile or efforts at communication result in fighting and disagreements, it may be time to talk with your divorce attorney, such as Mauro Savo Camerino Grant & Schalk, about parallel parenting instead. Here's a look at what parallel parenting means and what you can expect.
Separate Parenting Approaches
Under the parallel parenting system, both parents have the freedom to establish their own rules and expectations for the children without having to seek input from the other parent. This means accepting that your former spouse may have very different rules and parenting methods for the kids when they are in his or her home. You must be able to remain neutral about the parenting methods used by your former spouse, unless they pose a safety risk for your kids.
Under a co-parenting plan, parents must discuss all major decisions about the kids. This leads to a lot of discussion and communication between you and your ex. When communication is hostile at best, a parallel parenting plan can take a lot of that stress off. Under a parallel plan, there are only a few reasons to communicate with each other, and in most cases, there's little room for arguments.
For example, under a parallel parenting plan, the only reason you would need to communicate would be to share need-to-know information. If there's a school function to attend or a child who needs a medication during visits between homes, that information should be shared.
In addition to the communication being limited to only necessary information, under a parallel parenting structure, any communication that does occur between you should be very brief. In fact, if conversations together are extremely difficult, you may find that brief text communications are the easiest way to discuss a situation.
Self-Control and Mutual Respect
The relative calm and peace of a parallel parenting plan can only work when both parents enter into the agreement with the understanding that they must keep their anger and temper under control. With such limited communication between you, keeping your emotions in check during that communication is imperative. The less hostility and personal attacks in your communication, the more peaceful it will be for you and your children.
Despite the fact that most courts promote co-parenting plans as part of a divorce settlement, sometimes parallel parenting really is the best choice for everyone involved. Talk with your attorney about the possibility of this for your family if you believe it to be the best option.