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Limiting conflict through parallel parenting

Your divorce isn't the amicable one you wanted or that celebrities, friends, families and even acquaintances tell you it should be. Instead, you and your future former spouse would probably have no problem never seeing each other again.

The problem is that you share children that both of you love. The one thing you can agree on is that your children need each of you in their lives, so you have to figure something out.

Perhaps parallel parenting would help

Parallel parenting has helped numerous parents across the country and here in Georgia who share your situation. The primary distinction of this type of parenting plan is that you and your former spouse do not communicate unless necessary and only about the children. Moreover, unless an emergency arises, your method of communication allows each of you to consider your response before making it. Even custody exchanges take place in public or through a third party to limit parental communication.

Since your communications will not take place in person or often in real time, it helps reduce opportunities for arguments and conflicts. Each of you has the freedom to parent as you see fit when you have the children without interference from the other parent. However, it might help to agree on at least a loose schedule for the children to help them maintain some consistency between households.

You decide how long to use parallel parenting

Parallel parenting may make sense to you in the first few years after your divorce, but eventually, feelings may fade and change between you and the other parent. If you reach a point where you feel you can engage in more communication and cooperation, you can move into more of a co-parenting situation. You are not bound to parent this way forever. On the other hand, if your relationship doesn't change, you can sustain this arrangement for as long as needed.

The point is that you and your ex-spouse put your children's needs first. You recognize that they should not suffer because you and their other parent don't get along. By thinking outside the box and working out a parallel parenting plan, you let them know both their parents love them, support them and want to be with them as much as possible.

Creating a parallel parenting plan

You have rights as a parent that deserve protecting. Any parenting plan you create needs to protect those rights, serve the best interests of your children and meet with the approval of the court. In order to make sure there is no room for interpretation or disapproval, it would be wise to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help you through this challenging time in the life of your family.

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