Many parenting plans crafted during a divorce involved parents acting together even though they no longer live together. What happens if you and your former spouse cannot do that for one reason or the other?
While California family courts prefer parents to create a plan where they remain in contact and make agreements to work cooperatively, it is not your only option for parenting after divorce.
What is a parallel parenting plan?
It is not much of a leap to think that if you and your ex did not end your marriage on a high note that parenting cooperatively will not work. When this happens, a parenting plan that requires you to do so is not effective and will lead to more arguments than another option.
A parallel parenting plan involves setting up boundaries within which you and your former spouse parent. A main feature of this arrangement is mandating that all communication occurs either in written form or through a third party. This, in addition to agreeing that you will not both attend the same functions, can minimize potential conflict and make parenting your children less stressful.
Who might need a parallel parenting plan?
A couple who has a tendency to fight often may want to consider a parallel plan, at least at the onset of divorce. The goal is to parent in your own households and reduce the opportunity for discord. Over time, you and your ex may decide to change things and start to move along a cooperative parenting path.
It may prove easier to start a contentious post-divorce parenting relationship in parallel mode and then come back together to cooperate if and when the hard feelings ease.