While most parents recognize that it is important they get along and work together to raise their children, many struggle with this concept after a divorce. Even a few moments with their ex may spark feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness, sadness, or guilt. When those feelings lead to an argument, children can begin to feel as though they are responsible for the continued conflict, which may be the exact opposite of what caring, loving parents want. In these situations, parallel parenting may be a viable alternative.
What Is Parallel Parenting?
Parallel parenting seeks to reduce conflict between parents by encouraging disengagement between parents, rather than engagement. Each parent works independently toward the best interest of their child, focusing solely on their personal relationship with the child. No ill words are spoken about the other parent around the child, each household is run as each parent sees fit, and there is very little contact between the adults. Success in this parenting method relies upon the respect for one another’s boundaries and privacy. As such, a comprehensive plan should be developed, generally with the assistance of a skilled legal professional, such as a family law attorney.
Tips for Implementing a Parallel Parenting Plan
In a parallel parenting plan, parents should avoid contact as much as possible. Parallel parenting would not be necessary if the parents got along well with one another. Of course, they still have children to raise together, and that requires at least some level of communication. Preferably, this communication should take place through email, text messages, or another form of written communication. However, when there is a need to discuss matters in person, some basic boundaries may be able to help you avoid unnecessary conflict. Ideas could include:
Periodic in-person meetings, scheduled at a mutually convenient time
Public calls and meetings to reduce the risk of emotional outbursts
Keeping conversations to 30 minutes or less
Using written communication to outline and confirm what was agreed upon at the meeting
Employing the assistance of an impartial third-party individual when necessary
Never discussing personal details or asking personal questions
Always maintaining a polite, business-like approach to conversations
Never telling the other parent how they should parent
There are many details that go into a successful parenting plan. Parents, often still reeling from the emotional aspects of a divorce, may struggle to consider each and every one of these elements. A skilled and experienced family law attorney can help ensure you have covered all of your bases, ease the mental and emotional burden, help you understand how certain aspects of your parenting plan may change over time, and even advise you as to how your decisions may affect the future of your family.
Need a Parenting Plan? Contact a Wheaton Family Lawyer
At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we empathize with your desire to provide a healthy and happy life for your child. Our seasoned DuPage County divorce lawyers can help you find a path and a plan to make that happen, regardless of the complexities of your divorce or child custody case. To learn how, call our offices at 630-871-1002 and schedule your free initial consultation today.