Reasons to Consider Parallel Parenting After Your Divorce
Although the divorce rate in the United States has been dropping for about 20 years, nearly 39% of first marriages end in a divorce. Many of these marriages include young children, and conflict around parenting and child custody is one of the primary areas of contention discussed with a divorce lawyer. One way that divorcing couples can reduce stress and conflict and minimize time in the courtroom is to create a plan for parallel parenting of their children.
What Is Parallel Parenting?
Parallel parenting is a method of raising children in which the divorced parents minimize interactions with each other. Instead of arguing with each other, they focus their time and energy on their children. This is an effective parenting method when you and your ex-spouse have difficulty being civil with each other.
How Does Parallel Parenting Differ From Co-Parenting?
In a co-parenting situation, parents regularly communicate with each other, present a united front, and have similar rules at each residence. It involves a lot of cooperation and communication. Parallel parenting divides parenting responsibilities and minimizes interactions between the adults. By dividing responsibilities and following the plan, the parents may rarely need to interact with each other.
Who Should Consider Parallel Parenting?
Divorced couples who can’t seem to agree on anything should consider developing a parallel parenting plan with a divorce lawyer. Instead of focusing on problems with each other, this plan focuses on the well-being of the children. Minimizing interaction between the divorced parents also reduces stress and the amount of time that is spent in a courtroom.
How Does Parallel Parenting Benefit Divorcing Parents?
A parallel parenting plan allows both parents to remain active in their children’s lives. It minimizes the stress on each other and disruption for the children. A successful parallel parenting plan demonstrates that parents can focus on what’s best for their children instead of their disagreements, dislike, or distrust for each other. The plan creates guidance for common issues that are likely to breed conflict, such as where children will spend the holidays or which parent will deal with behavioral problems at school. A well-thought parallel parenting plan also makes it easier for divorced parents to move on with their lives after a marriage filled with conflict and arguments.
How Do Children Benefit from Parallel Parenting?
When parents establish a parallel parenting plan, children tend to develop fewer behavioral and emotional problems. They’re more likely to do better in school, develop strong friendships, and have positive relationships with each parent. Parallel parenting also helps children build better self-esteem, and they may be able to avoid feeling as if they were the cause of their parents’ marital problems or the reason for the divorce.
What Should I Include in a Parallel Parenting Plan?
A plan for parallel parenting should include as many specifics as possible. Although you can’t possibly anticipate every event or emergency that could occur with your child or ex-spouse, some elements that you should cover include the start and end of each parent’s visiting time, how and where your child will be exchanged, who is responsible for transporting your child, what happens if one parent misses or cancels their scheduled visit and when each parent has exclusive decision-making power. Some other aspects of parenting to add to your plan include who will take your child to medical and dental appointments, how to handle accidents and injuries, scheduling social, school, and religious activities, and dealing with behavioral issues and daily routines.
If you’re considering a divorce and would like to know more about parallel parenting, you may benefit from speaking with a divorce lawyer. Contact the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, at (215) 886-1266, or enter your information into our contact form, and an associate will reach out to you to schedule a consultation.