Going through a divorce can create resentment between spouses that extends far beyond the dissolution of their marriage. Parenting after a high-conflict divorce can be a challenge, but engaging in parallel parenting might be the best way to ensure that your relationship with your children doesn't suffer as a result of conflict between you and your former spouse.
Parallel parenting gives each spouse the opportunity to make decisions independently of one another in approved areas of a child's life. If you are considering a parallel parenting arrangement in the future, here are two tips you can use during your divorce proceedings to help increase your chances of success.
1. Ensure that your divorce decree outlines specifically what type authority each parent will have.
To make sure that parallel parenting works for you and your former spouse, it is absolutely essential that you take the time to spell out each area of authority that you will operate in after the divorce is complete.
If you will be responsible for making medical decisions on behalf of your children, while your spouse will have sole discretion when it comes to educational decisions, these areas of authority need to be clearly stated in the divorce decree.
Getting every minute detail of your parenting agreement in writing will reduce the need for contact with your former spouse after the divorce is complete, which can shield your children from stress if your relationship with your ex is filled with conflict.
2. Stipulate how communication will occur if you need to talk to your former spouse about your children.
Situations may arise after your divorce that require you to consult with your former spouse regarding your children. In high-conflict divorces that are resolved via a parallel parenting agreement, it can be beneficial to stipulate how communication regarding the children will take place.
Electronic communication (via e-mail or text message) can help reduce the chance that you will engage in an argument with your former spouse. Writing a brief summary of each child's emotional and temporal status during the time spent with each parent in a journal can also allow both parents to provide the right type of discipline and care for their children without having to come into direct contact with one another.
Parenting after a divorce can be a challenge, especially if your marriage and divorce is filled with conflict. To shield your children from the negative effects of conflict, be sure that you and your spouse agree to specific areas of authority and outline approved methods of communication to ensure that your parallel parenting plan is a success in the future. Contact a lawyer, like Eschbacher Law, for more help.