Wisconsin parents who are getting a divorce amid a great deal of conflict may want to consider a parallel parenting approach to sharing custody. While there is an ideal of parents working together effectively after a divorce, continuing to attempt this in high-conflict cases can sometimes be worse than opting for parallel parenting. With parallel parenting, parents minimize contact with each other.
Advantages of parallel parenting
Parallel parenting can also be a better option than continuing to fight over child custody because you disagree with the other parent’s approach to bringing up children. It is rooted in the understanding that while differing parenting styles may vary enormously and parents may not get along with each other, it is still important that they are both a part of their children’s lives. It can reduce stress on both parents and children and allow everyone to move forward. In some cases, it may be a temporary arrangement since parents’ negative feelings toward one another may not persist. However, it can also be permanent if those attitudes are ingrained.
Planning for success in parallel parenting
The key to making parallel parenting successful is putting down a foundation in the parenting agreement that will allow things to move along smoothly and largely of their own accord. Points to discuss include parenting times, what kind of decision-making power each parent has, where the exchange will happen and what the process will be if a delay or cancellation is necessary. Parents can use a communication book that goes back and forth with the children to make notes to one another about various developmental issues, information about the child’s activities and anything else that is relevant. Parents should also agree on which events each of them will attend, avoiding being at the same ones.
Divorce can be difficult, and in some cases, emotions are simply too high for co-parenting to be effective. Parallel parenting releases parents from the obligation of working together and allows them to focus on the best interests of the child rather than their conflicts.