In an ideal world, divorcing parents are able to remain cordial and respectful in communication out of concern for the children. Unfortunately, not every relationship matches the ideal and sometimes that communication feels strained at best and hostile at worst. How do you handle co-parenting and drafting parenting plans with such a contentious relationship?
Parallel parenting might be the solution that you need.
What is parallel parenting?
As with parallel lines that run in the same direction but never intersect, parallel parenting permits each parent to make their own decisions with the children while in their care. Each parent establishes their own house rules, expectations and requirements independently of the other.
How does parallel parenting help?
Since a parallel parenting plan provides each parent the freedom to establish their own rules and expectations, communication between the parents is minimal. For those individuals who are unable to communicate reasonably, even about the children, this reduces conflict and hostility.
In addition, parallel parenting allows parents to establish a neutral communication tool, such as a shared online calendar.
What is the hardest part of a parallel parenting plan?
If you are considering a parallel parenting plan, understand that it also has its challenges. One of the biggest struggles for many divorcing couples is the fact that you have no say in any of the decisions affecting your children when they are with the other parent. While most couples would have mutually-agreed guidelines, you are unable to set any expectations while they are in the other parent’s home.