If you’re getting a divorce, perhaps one of the reasons why you’re divorcing is two very separate views on parenting – this is not uncommon. We always hear about how parents are supposed to put on a united front and agree on everything in front of their kids, and discuss their parenting conflicts in private, but it doesn’t always happen that way.
Sometimes, two parents have very different upbringings and therefore, notably different views on parenting. Or, they may have very similar backgrounds but one parent wants to raise their children how they were raised, while the other parent wants to do the exact opposite of what their parents did because they don’t agree with their upbringing. In such cases, it’s not uncommon for parents to have major conflicts over discipline, bedtime, teenage dating, curfews, chores, homework, schooling, etc.
If the parents couldn’t agree on co-parenting while married, how are they supposed to agree on parenting after the divorce? Parallel parenting may be the answer.
Parenting for High-Conflict Families
In Psychology Today, Edward Kruk Ph.D. describes parallel parenting as, “an arrangement in which divorced parents are able to co-parent by means of disengaging from each other, and having limited direct contact, in situations where they have demonstrated that they are unable to communicate with each other in a respectful manner.”
In high-conflict families, parallel parenting can help reduce conflict between parents by greatly limiting their contact with each other, while still maintaining a minimum level of communication. In these cases, it’s extremely important that the parents use very specific language in their divorce agreement that addresses how the parents will address all child-related issues. As the parents follow the agreement, they continue to parent “their way” when they’re with the children.
For parallel parenting to be successful, the parents must stick to the parenting agreement so trust can be established over time. In many cases, as time goes by, the dust settles, communication and flexibility can be restored, and the parents can adopt a healthier, more involved co-parenting style.
“Although parallel parenting is essentially disengaged parenting, some degree of communication between parents in regard to the health and welfare of their children will be necessary. In these cases, parallel parenting will likely involve less direct communication methods, such as email,” wrote Dr. Kruk.
“If we disagree on parenting, can we still achieve a no-fault divorce?” If you and your spouse can agree to disagree and adopt a parallel parenting relationship, there is no reason why you can’t have a cheap, no-fault divorce through our firm. However, if you anticipate a child custody battle, we cannot help you because the only way we keep our rates low is by specializing in uncontested divorce cases.
Next: How Noncustodial Parents Can Stay Involved!
Interested in a cheap, no-fault divorce? Contact Cairns Law Offices today.