Parenting is one of the most important issues to settle during a divorce. It can also be one of the most difficult. Parents often have conflicting ideas about how to raise children and these differences become even more obvious when the marriage ends. There are several options for parenting agreements that can be effective and allow the children to have a stable, healthy environment to grow up in. Sometimes, however, parents can barely stand to be in the same room with each other and use situations with the children to make the other’s life difficult, regardless of the impact on the children. In such cases, parallel parenting could be the best solution. A divorce attorney is best suited to assess your situation and offer advice.
If you are unfamiliar with parallel parenting, it is an option available when the relationship between the parents is fraught with conflict, anger, inability to communicate with each other and involves lots of litigation. This type of parental relationship is unhealthy for children. The goal of a parallel parenting plan is to prevent long-term harm to the children. In a parallel parenting plan, communication between the parents is very limited. Parties are encouraged to keep the communication to a minimum and in writing, if possible. Unplanned communication is also discouraged except in the case of an emergency. A communication book can be sent along with the children for the parents to send information back and forth to each other. The parent that has the children in their physical possession is responsible for making the day to day decisions without having to consult with the other parent. These decisions cannot interfere with the decisions of the parent with legal custody on issues such as education, healthcare or religion. With limited contact, the hope is that the children do not feel constant tension and stress between their parents.
The aim of this parenting model is to provide a temporary solution to get parents through the early stages of divorce when intense feelings and tempers are at their peak. The hope is that as things cool off and everyone adjusts to their new situations, a more cooperative parenting plan can be put in place. Often, this is the case. But if this is not possible, the parallel parenting plan can give children the most civil and stable arrangement possible.
A New Jersey divorce attorney can provide you with the details of the available parenting plans and help you decide which will work best for your children in your situation. A parallel parenting plan might be just the solution you need for a particularly difficult relationship with your spouse or ex-spouse.