Some divorcing couples with kids are able to arrange custody and parenting time schedules that best fit their circumstances with little to no disagreement.
But in the real world, this isn't always the case. Some situations are so hostile that certain ex-spouses find it nearly impossible to communicate effectively when it comes to co-parenting.
So what can they do?
Parenting expert Edward Kruk, Ph.D. suggests parallel parenting as an alternative way to handle raising the children together when divorcing couples do not get along.
But what exactly is "parallel parenting?"
According to Dr. Kruk, "Parallel parenting is an arrangement in which divorced parents are able to co-parent by means of disengaging from each other."
In other words, divorced parents who simply can't get along should basically limit their contact with each other.
So how can they do that? Dr. Kruk suggests several ways:
Hire a mediator
An unbiased third party can help divorcing couples develop a solid parallel parenting plan that outlines specifics such as neutral drop-off and pick-up locations and timing of visits.
Although this may be an obvious solution-it can do wonders in reducing the negative impact to children involved. Parents should try as best as they can to avoid yelling or arguing in front of the kids.
Try emailing, texting-or using a notebook
As a way to reduce the possibility of an argument, parents can use less face-to-face forms of communication. Email or even text messaging (if it's not construed in a hostile way) are options. Even a notebook that can be passed back and forth with the children is an option in order to limit argumentative situations.
Anticipate continued changes
There will always be changes and parents be cognizant of them and plan accordingly. They may need to re-engage a mediator to discuss changes in scheduling or how both will handle major decisions affecting the children's lives.
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These types of disengagement, or parallel parenting, methods help parents minimize both conflicts between each other and the stress on the children, regardless of age.
For more information on parallel parenting or help resolving a divorce or other family law matters, reach out to a legal professional.