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Child custody option for parents who don’t get along

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Child Custody

If you’re a Minnesota parent whose relationship with your spouse is contentious, navigating a divorce might be challenging. As in all divorces that include children, you and your ex must work out a parenting agreement. You must resolve numerous child custody issues, which can be difficult if the two of you can barely be in the same room without arguing. There’s a custody option that is often beneficial for parents in cases like this.

Parallel parenting is a child custody term referring to a system of co-parenting following a divorce where the former spouses in question can’t stand the sight of each other. If the common denominator in all your in-person interactions with your ex is confrontation, this might be an option you’ll want to try.

Parallel parenting helps keep the peace in a child custody arrangement

Like all good parents, your children’s best interests are a top priority in your divorce. Data shows that kids can adapt to a new lifestyle without excessive stress if their parents demonstrate an ability to work together as a team for their sake. On the contrary, children who constantly exposed to parental conflict typically experience high levels of stress following a divorce.

To avoid conflict, you can implement a parallel parenting strategy. This is a child custody option where there is limited communication and interaction between parents. For example, if you and your ex fight every time you see each other, you can agree (in your written parallel parenting plan) not to attend the same functions at the same time, such as a child’s school event or a holiday gathering. You can also limit communication to text messaging or email only. This helps avoid verbal arguments over the phone or during virtual chats.

Maintain a business-like manner in your parallel parenting relationship

Try to treat your written exchanges with your ex as you would any type of business-related correspondence. Avoid personal information, except that which is relevant to child custody. Keep messages short and to the point. Agree to use respectful language only. If you will be dropping your kids off and picking them up for custody exchanges, you do not have to see your ex in person. For example, you can use your children’s school as a custody exchange point.

Whichever parent is taking custody will show up at the appropriate time to pick up the kids. School officials can supervise the exchange. Other parents have used police stations in a similar way. You can also ask a trusted friend or family member to make custody exchanges on your behalf if options that don’t involve in-person interactions are not available. Parallel parenting can help you avoid conflict and enable kids to move on in life after your divorce without a lot of stress.