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Most parents experience conflict as they learn to co-parent successfully after their divorce. It is not easy to raise children in two different households, especially when differences in parenting preferences contributed to the divorce in the first place. But for some parents, the situation is so volatile that they cannot work together at all. This could happen for many reasons; perhaps the relationship ended because of abuse or infidelity, or one or both spouses may manifest symptoms of narcissism. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that children can often suffer terribly when they are exposed to ongoing conflict between divorced parents. If you are in a situation like this, you may want to consider parallel parenting.
Parallel parenting is a term used for a strategy that requires or allows parents to completely separate their co-parenting so they keep communication to an absolute minimum. Parents do not attend meetings or appointments together, do not share in parental responsibilities (important decision-making), and will generally only communicate in writing.
When communication is necessary, informal phone or text conversations are off the table with parallel parenting because they so often lead to conflict. Instead, parents will use email, parenting applications, and the help of a mediator when necessary.
The most important element of a firm parallel parenting plan is creating a thoroughly detailed arrangement during divorce negotiations. If the divorce has already happened, then it may be necessary to modify the parenting agreement in court. The more details the parenting plan includes, the less opportunity there will be later on for confusion, disagreement, and conflict.
In addition to describing parental responsibilities and parenting time, a parallel parenting agreement can explicitly describe the situations when communication will be necessary and how parents will talk. It can account for how children will be transported between parents, which parent is responsible for buying certain necessities, and leave out provisions that can lead to conflict, like the right of first refusal.
At Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, our experienced DuPage County parenting plan attorneys understand how difficult it can be to peacefully co-parent with an ex. That is why we are committed to helping our clients establish a parenting agreement that works with their circumstances. To find out more about parallel parenting and whether it might be the right fit for your family, call us today at 630-920-8855 to schedule your free consultation.