Emotions often run high in a divorce, which can set the stage for conflict. If this sounds familiar to you, it may be difficult for you to imagine how you and your future former spouse are going to continue to parent your children after the divorce.
After all, you can hardly stand to be in the same room together. You both may be struggling to work out your own divorce settlement because you know that going to court will only make matters worse. Co-parenting feels out of the question, so you need an alternative.
The answer may be parallel parenting
In parallel parenting, you and the other parent have as little contact with one another as possible, especially in person. This gives each of you the time you need to work through your negative emotions while enjoying joint custody of your children. This method of post-divorce parenting can be temporary or permanent, depending on your circumstances. The primary benefits include the following:
- Each of you has the freedom to parent as you see fit without interference from the other parent, unless your actions put your children in danger.
- The two of you can choose the best way to communicate when needed.
- Your communications with the other parent are more predictable.
- Minimal stress for everyone due to the reduction in conflict.
The key to parallel parenting is limiting contact between you and the other parent. You will also need to agree not to discuss each other negatively around the children. Your spouse may not have been the ideal partner, but your children love him or her, and they deserve a relationship with the other parent. If you feel this way, this arrangement could be the answer to your child custody issues.
It is commendable that you and the other parent can put aside your conflicts long enough to make arrangements to continue loving and supporting your children. However, you still need to take the time to protect your rights and work toward a mutually satisfactory settlement.
You can benefit from some help
In order to increase the odds of working out a plan that everyone can live with, you would more than likely benefit from consulting with a family law attorney well versed in Louisiana law. In addition to your child custody issues, you may also need help with your community property partitions and other matters requiring your attention as you go your separate ways.