Most divorcing couples would probably agree that by the time they began getting divorced, their interpersonal relationship had mostly fallen apart. This loss of respect and compassion can make negotiations about important issues like property division and child custody, which can feel zero-sum to both parties, particularly difficult.
When a relationship is particularly high-conflict and the couple shares children under age 18, the prospect of continuing to co-parent peacefully after the divorce is finalized may be inconceivable to both parties. While many divorced couples prefer to interact as little as possible, some actually need strict boundaries around their interactions for the sake of protecting each other and the children. If you are considering divorce in Texas and this sounds familiar to you, you may want to look into parallel parenting.
What is Parallel Parenting?
Even when parents do not get along well, children still benefit from having both parents involved in their lives unless a parent poses a danger of abuse and neglect. And despite their dislike of each other and their longstanding personal disagreements, most parents continue to seek warm relationships with their children after divorce.
Parallel parenting is one strategy that allows parents who experience high levels of interpersonal conflict to interact with each other as little as possible while they continue to share custody of their children. Parallel parenting dictates the specific responsibilities of each parent in exact detail. Rather than sharing decision-making authority about important things like education, healthcare, and religious upbringing, parents will each make decisions in particular areas. They will avoid attending events, appointments, or extracurricular activities at the same time.
The rules for visitation hand-offs are also very specific, and each parent is expected to follow the rules exactly. This includes where the children will be picked up or dropped off, which parent is responsible for transportation, and what parents will do if they need to cancel or make up parenting time. Parents usually refrain from communicating except via a special email and/or a detailed activity and events log that will move between parents’ houses with the children.
Some parents need to continue utilizing parallel parenting until their youngest child turns 18. Other parents only need it until they can recover from the emotional impact of divorce. Whatever the unique needs of your family may be, you can get the parenting plan you need with the help of a Texas family lawyer.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Collin County Divorce Lawyer
If you are considering divorce and are worried that your relationship with your ex will be very difficult to manage, you need the help of a Sachse, TX divorce attorney with experience helping couples through high-conflict divorce. At Law Office of Brian Bagley, we will work with you to clearly assess your situation and seek solutions that benefit both you and your children. Call us today at (972) 843-7158 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.