Some Pennsylvania parents who are going through a divorce may be aware that there is a type of arrangement in which both ex-spouses cooperate and have frequent contact because it is what is best for the children. However, some people may have a relationship that is so high in conflict that it interferes with their ability to co-parent effectively. If this is the case for you, you might want to consider parallel parenting.
What is parallel parenting?
Parallel parenting reduces the amount of communication the two of you have to an absolute minimum and puts tools in place to facilitate what communication you do share. These tools along with careful planning and allowing one another a great deal of autonomy in decision-making regarding the children means that you have very little contact with each other.
How it works
Unlike divorced parents who might both attend a child’s events, in parallel parenting, you might take turns doing so. There are apps designed to help divorced parents communicate about the children, or you might agree to use only text or only email. A parenting plan that specifies dates and times each of you will have the children based on the child custody agreement and that sets forth detailed guidelines for decision-making helps you parent independently of one another. This might include agreements about how to handle health care, emergencies and changes of plans.
When you are in a high-conflict relationship with your ex-spouse, parallel parenting can have a number of benefits for you and your children. Witnessing conflict is one of the most difficult parts of divorce for children, and parallel parenting can eliminate that to a great extent. It is also less stressful for both parents and allows you to concentrate more on the best interests of the children.
Children’s lives and needs change as they grow up, so you may also need to include plans for reviewing and revising the plan periodically. However, in general, you can count on a parallel parenting plan to relieve you of the need to have frequent contact with each other on most child-related matters.