Sometimes a couple with children divorces and they continue interacting almost as if the divorce never happened. They still chat about their lives together when picking up or dropping off the children and can easily communicate about changes in parenting time schedules or concerns regarding the children.
Other couples are much more antagonistic toward each other during and after a divorce. They struggle to communicate at all without fighting and are not willing to cooperate with each other. This often happens when a marriage ends due to adultery or another significant breach of trust. Mental health issues like narcissistic personality disorder can also make it nearly impossible for parents to communicate effectively. In circumstances like these, a method of shared parenting called parallel parenting may be the best option for raising happy, successful children.
Features of Parallel Parenting
Studies have proven that arguing in front of children is destructive to their wellbeing. The purpose of parallel parenting is to keep the animosity between parents away from the children. Unlike regular co-parenting, parallel parenting eliminates the majority of communication between parents. Before an Illinois divorced is finalized, all parents planning to share custody must submit a parenting plan or parenting agreement to the court. Although the court’s requirements are only that the plan includes schedules for the allocation of parental responsibilities (custody) and parenting time (visitation) schedule, a couple planning to parallel parent will need to create a much more specific parenting plan.
What to Include in Your Parenting Agreement
If you are currently in the midst of a hostile divorce and plan to share parenting with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, experts suggest you include the following in your parenting plan:
- Detailed plans regarding which parent will have the children when: This will need to be quite specific. Include pick up and drop off times and locations;
- Plans for holidays, vacations, and birthdays: Some couples find that an every-other-year schedule for major holidays works for them;
- How the couple will communicate regarding the children: Experts suggest that hostile parents use electronic communication instead of phone calls or face-to-face interactions in order to lessen the chance of conflict. Shared electronic calendars such as Google Calendar or apps like Our Family Wizard can help parents stay on the same page regarding their children. Parents should only communicate when necessary and should only include objective facts.
Legal Guidance for Divorcing Parents
A qualified Wheaton divorce lawyer may significantly decrease the difficulty of divorcing a hostile spouse. To schedule a free, confidential consultation at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, call 630-871-1002 today.