A divorce is never easy, and it can be even more complicated when you have children. Many divorced or separated parents can work together in their child’s interests. However, when there is especially intense conflict, co-parenting can be impossible. In these cases, parallel parenting may be an effective solution to allow parents to spend time with their children without needing to interact.
Parallel parenting is a form of parenting time arrangement that is necessary if parents are unable to engage with each other amicably. Each parent focuses on caring for their child or children during parenting time with them. Parents provide parenting for their children parallel to each other. They interact minimally, only if necessary, or in an emergency.
The focus of parallel parenting is to connect with and provide benefits for your children and their needs. Your focus should remain on your kids, rather than what the other parent is doing. Minimizing conflict between parents is healthier for your children.
The precise way that your family divides parenting time and decisions will vary. Legal custody refers to making important decisions like healthcare and education. Physical custody refers to where the child lives. Both parents will create an agreement about custody and visitation through divorce mediation, or the court will assign a child custody order through litigation.
Commonly, a parallel parenting plan will provide joint legal custody and joint physical custody. Parents will follow the agreement or court order regarding legal custody and what decisions are made for their children. During the time children spend with each parent, that parent makes decisions about their daily lives.
Parallel parenting allows both parents to spend time with their children but doesn’t require them to get along for that to happen. Ideally, the passage of time allows parents to become less hostile toward each other following divorce or separation.
Parallel parenting is meant to allow both parents to heal, so they can eventually effectively co-parent their children. Until then, there are several benefits to a parallel parenting plan for contentious parents.
A: Because parallel parenting requires little communication between parents, the agreement must be specific. In addition to determining physical and legal custody, a parallel parenting plan should include:
The parenting plan should leave as little room as possible for confusion. A legal professional like a child custody attorney has experience in these areas and can ensure that nothing is overlooked.
A: Parallel parenting is a form of parenting time arrangement where contact between parents is minimized. Each parent spends separate parenting time with their children and focuses on raising and caring for them. It’s a form of parenting generally used when there is very high conflict between parents. Parallel parenting enables both parents to spend quality time with their kids without having to interact extensively with each other.
A: Like any parenting plan, parallel parenting can be enforced if it is entered in court. If the terms of the parenting plan were created as a court order during litigation, it is an enforceable court order. Parents can work together on an agreement, but this agreement must then be submitted to a judge. If the judge believes it to be in the child’s interests, and not unfair to either party, it is entered in court. It then becomes an enforceable order.
A: A parenting plan must include information about legal custody and physical custody. Both types of custody may be joint or sole. Additionally, a parenting plan should have information such as:
You may not be sure if parallel parenting is ideal for your family. The experienced attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, have worked for years in family and custody law. Contact our team today and let us help you find the solution that is most beneficial for you and your children.
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