A marriage does not end because spouses get along. While things may end on an amicable note for some, it does not happen this way for everyone. With that in mind, co-parenting the way the court would like is not always plausible.
There is an alternative if a cooperative post-divorce parenting situation is not likely. Parallel parenting is another way a couple can shape their plan for caring for their children after a split.
What is parallel parenting?
A cooperative parenting arrangement has a foundation in communication between parties. While the parenting plan sets the basis for how things go after divorce, the idea is that parents will work together and negotiate with each other to set their children up for success.
Parallel parenting takes the cooperative element out of things. When a divorce is particularly volatile and one or both spouses angry, communication may not prove achievable in the aftermath. It is an acceptable basis for parenting children after divorce, but it does take some clarity when creating the parenting plan.
What goes into a parallel parenting plan?
Parents agree on a schedule for who their children will reside with throughout the year, a standard element of any parenting plan. Custody exchanges do not happen between parents and either occur at a neutral location or via a third party. Parents may also opt not to attend child-related events that do not fall during their time.
The reason for this is simple: It puts space between parties that cannot communicate without fighting. Some parallel parenting plans contain a third-party communication provision that requires each parent to utilize an agreed-upon facilitator to make schedule changes and exchange messages with each other.
Parents who cannot communicate effectively may consider going the parallel parenting route.