An alternative to co-parenting

During a high-conflict divorce, co-parenting might feel like a fantasy. Family courts want both parents involved in the children’s lives even though they may no longer be married. Co-parenting might be ideal, but there is an alternative. It is called parallel parenting, in which parents have very limited contact with each other. In parallel parenting, the parents disconnect from each other but not the children. Each parent abides by the parenting plan which they worked out before the finalization of the divorce. 

In parallel parenting, you may need to find a method of communication that does not involve children. You never want to rely on your children to relay messages to the other parent. Not only does this put the child in the middle, but children are notorious for forgetting or leaving information out. There are many online tools that provide structured communication between parents. 

It is important to make a plan

Having a specific parenting plan is key for parallel parenting. When the children are with the alternate parent, that person is responsible for setting rules and getting the kids to places. Having a neutral location for drop-offs and pick-ups can help reduce conflict, too. The idea is to make sure each parent has time with the children without letting the divorce get in the way. Children who have both parents in their life, even amid the conflict, do better in school and in their social life. 

Parallel parenting can change as kids get older 

Many times, as time goes by, divorced parents will find that they can be more cooperative and move to a co-parenting arrangement. It is a good idea to make sure you are following the parenting plan before making any changes to it. If you do find you need a modification, you may want to discuss it with a divorce lawyer before moving forward. Reducing the conflict between parents is key to any parenting situation, whether co-parenting or parallel parenting. 

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