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What to Do When Co-Parenting Doesn’t Work

When parents divorce, their children must learn to cope with their new routines, living situations and other types of upheaval. Many parents are able to set aside their personal differences in order to put the children’s needs first. Others may start off co-parenting, but the relationship deteriorates when a new spouse comes into the picture. Some parents simply refuse to cooperate altogether.

What happens if your ex makes co-parenting impossible? Parallel parenting might be the answer.

What is parallel parenting?

Co-parenting requires a civil relationship and willingness to put the kids first. If one or both spouses are unable to get past their anger and resentment, parallel parenting may be necessary.

Parallel parenting involves extremely limited communication between the parents, with separate parenting styles. Each parents’ home may have completely different rules and schedules, while the children’s school and social events are attended separately. Only major decisions, such as healthcare, are shared.

This type of parenting can be supported by communicating between neutral third parties or specially designed apps, when necessary. Parents may ask family members or friends to handle pickups and drop-offs when one or both parents are unable to be civil.

Is parallel parenting right for you?

While co-parenting has many benefits for the children, if your spouse is uncooperative, angry or vengeful, it’s usually best to minimize contact. This limits the opportunities for your children to witness strife, and can ease their stress. It also allows children to maintain relationships with both parents, even if adjusting to two sets of homes, rules and schedules can be difficult at first.

Your child custody attorney can help you incorporate parallel parenting principles into your parenting plan. When you need help negotiating child custody, talk to the trusted custody lawyers at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in St. Paul, MN today.

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