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Could your family benefit from a parallel parenting plan?

Perhaps right now, the only two things you and your spouse agree on is a divorce and that the divorce should have as little impact on the children as possible. While you may not see anything positive in the situation right now, it's at least a start.

Agreeing to insulate the children from your personal relationship as much as possible does provide a way forward. If you think this means attempting to co-parent when you can't even stand to look at each other, your anxiety level probably just went through the roof. Fortunately, you do not have to co-parent in order to give your children what you want.

Parallel parenting may make more sense

Parallel parenting takes your marital relationship out of the equation. The primary reasons to choose this plan include the following:

  • You and the other parent simply cannot get along at this point.
  • You and the other parent cannot be in the same room without arguing.
  • Your children often end up in the middle of your arguments with your future former spouse.
  • You cannot focus on being the parent your children need due to the degradation of your marital relationship.
  • You and the other parent need the freedom to parent without any interference from the other.
  • You want to keep your children away from any conflict between you and the other parent.

If one of you has a protective order against the other, parallel parenting may be the only choice. A third party will help establish your parenting time schedule, which will leave nothing to chance. Each of you agrees to abide by a strictly designed and highly detailed schedule. You also agree to a method of conflict resolution. If you do have to communicate, it happens through email or texts -- no phone calls or in-person visits.

You may each parent as you wish, but if you could agree on some basic household rules, it would help the children, since they need consistency and continuity from one home to the other. Otherwise, you each agree not to interfere in the other parent's household. You would each need to abide by other rules as well.

Parallel parenting into the future

Some San Antonio couples never repair their relationships enough to become co-parents, and that's okay. You can sustain this parenting plan as long as necessary. However, if your relationship with your ex-spouse changes in the future, you could increase your contact with each other and move into something more like a co-parenting relationship. The bottom line is that you need to do what is best for your family, and no one knows what that is better than you and the other parent.

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