What’s the Best Parenting Plan When it’s Not Amicable?

Two divorced parents and son in mediation to figure out the best parenting plan

There’s no denying that parenting is difficult. But when the relationship between you and your child’s other parent doesn’t end on good terms, it can be even tougher. Often times when a relationship ends there can be a lot of hurt, anger, and resentment. So how can you parent in the best manner when the relationship isn’t amicable?

One of the best things that you can do in order to maintain an amicable situation is to create a parallel parenting plan. Parallel parenting helps to minimize the amount of interaction that exes have with one another. This helps to prevent arguments in front of your children. 

What Is Parallel Parenting?

Instead of having to rely upon one another, parallel parenting allows each parent to separate from one another and figure out how they want to parent their child when the child is in their care. Parallel parenting is often the best solution when one or both parents suffer from a mental health issue such as borderline personality or narcissism. When you cannot have a civil conversation, parallel parenting works because the only communication you have is in regards to the kids. 

Co-Parenting vs. Parallel Parenting

It is important to note that parallel parenting and co-parenting is not the same thing. Co-parents are able to work together, be in the same room together, and raise their children as a partnership in a healthy environment. Co-parents are those who can put any negative feelings towards one another aside for the sake of their children. They are able to attend concerts, recitals, and school meetings together. They may even be able to have joint birthday parties or holiday parties for their children. 

But when it comes to parallel parenting, communication is minimal and nothing is done together – everything is held separately. Parallel parenting is the best parenting plan when it is the healthiest. 

While it would be ideal for parents to be able to co-exist, put aside their differences, and get along for the sake of their children, unfortunately, this is not always possible. When it is not possible, parallel parenting works best because it prevents parents from engaging in upsetting conflict in front of their kids. 

What to Include in a Parallel Parenting Plan

The best way to create an effective parallel parenting plan is to make everything as direct as easy to understand as possible so that communication between parents can be avoided as much as possible between parents. In order to do so, it is best to establish and strictly adhere to the following:

  • Determine how you will split time with the children
  • Identify specific start and end times for visitation
  • Choose a location for drop-offs and pick-ups; public places are usually the best option
  • Decide how to handle any cancellations
  • Establish how to make up any missed visits
  • Set guidelines regarding necessary communications between parents
  • Create a conflict resolution plan

While you may find it difficult to be able to sit down with your ex and establish the best parenting plan, the more you put in the work to carefully negotiate at the beginning, the smoother things will go later on. 

This can help to create a routine that allows both you and your children to successfully move forward so that everyone wins. 

Consult with a Qualified Family Law Attorney

If you are dealing with divorce and/or child custody issues, it can have a big impact on your life – physically, emotionally, and especially financially. It can also greatly impact the lives of your children. That is why you deserve an experienced family law attorney who understands what is at stake and how to protect your interests.  

At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we work with our clients to protect what is in their best interest. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Family Law