While most parents recognize that it is important they get along and work together to raise their child, many struggle with this concept after a divorce. Even a few moments with their ex may spark feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness, sadness, or guilt. When those feelings lead way to an argument, children can begin to feel as though they are responsible for the continued conflict. This may be the exact opposite of what caring, loving parents want, but they cannot seem to find a way to co-parent successfully. In these situations, parallel parenting may be a viable alternative.
What Is Parallel Parenting?
Parallel parenting seeks to reduce conflict between parents by encouraging disengagement between parents, rather than engagement. Each works independently toward the best interest of their child, focusing solely on their personal relationship. No ill words are spoken about the other parent around the child, each household is run as each parent sees fit, and there is very little contact between parental units. Success in this parenting method is hinged upon the respect for one another's boundaries and privacy. As such, a comprehensive plan should be developed, generally with the assistance of a skilled legal professional, such as a family law attorney.
Tips for Implementing a Parallel Parenting Plan
In a parallel parenting plan, parents should avoid contact as much as possible. Of course, they still have a child to raise together, and that requires at least some level of communication. Preferably, this communication should take place through fax, email, or another form of written communication. However, when there is a need to discuss matters in person, some basic boundaries may be able to help you avoid unnecessary conflict. Ideas could include:
- Formal meetings, scheduled at a mutually convenient time;
- Public calls and meetings to reduce the risk of emotional outbursts;
- Keeping conversations to 30 minutes or less;
- Using written communication to outline and confirm what was agreed upon at the meeting;
- Employing the assistance of an impartial third-party individual when necessary;
- Never discussing personal details or asking personal questions;
- Always maintaining a polite, business-like approach to conversations; and
- Never telling the other parent how they should parent.
Need a Parenting Plan for Your Divorce or Child-Related Dispute? Our Attorneys Can Help
There are a lot of tiny details that go into a successful parenting plan. Parents, often still reeling through the emotional aspects of a divorce, may struggle to consider each and every one of these elements. A skilled and experienced family law attorney can help ensure you have covered all of your bases, ease the mental and emotional burden, help you understand how certain aspects of your parenting plan may change over time, and even advise you as to how your decisions may affect the future of your family.
At Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC, we understand the mental and emotional struggles you are facing, and we empathize with your desire to provide a healthy and happy life for your child. Our seasoned Naperville, Illinois family law attorneys can help you find a path and a plan to make that happen, regardless of the complexities of your divorce or child custody case. To learn how, call our offices at (630) 793-6337 and schedule your initial consultation today.