Parents in Plymouth going through a divorce may want to make sure their child gets through the process in a healthy matter and continues to thrive post-divorce. If parents are on amicable terms, they could try co-parenting as a means of child custody. Through co-parenting, parents will generally keep the same rules and routines in both of their households and will often attend special events, such as holidays and other celebrations together with their child.
However, not all divorcing parents are on such amicable terms. Resentment and anger can linger long after the divorce decree is signed. However, despite these negative feelings, parents still may want to share custody. If co-parenting isn’t a feasible option, parents may want to try another way to share custody: parallel parenting.
Through parallel parenting, each parent will decide on their own what rules the child will file while in their care. Parents will also not attend holidays and other special events together with the child. Instead, they may alternate who spends these celebrations with the child. Communication in parallel parenting is minimal and often will be done solely in writing — such as through text messages or email — and will be limited to information about the child. Child custody exchanges will also take place at neutral sites, rather than at the parents’ respective homes.
Parallel parenting requires a lot of planning before the divorce is finalized. Parents will have to determine a child custody schedule that works for them while minimizing contact with one another. Who is to have the child at what holidays, special events and vacations will be included in the divorce decree. How the parties will communicate will be decided on ahead of time. Finally, the parents can include provisions dictating that any changes that may need to be made to the child custody order must be done formally through the court.
Ultimately, the goal of child custody should be the best interests of the child, and sometimes this means parallel parenting is a better fit. Parents can share custody of their child while still retaining the ability to parent in the way they see fit and with minimal contact with their ex. Parents going through a divorce who want to learn more about parallel parenting will want to ensure they seek the legal guidance they need, which this post does not provide.