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Parallel parenting to avoid conflict after divorce

The ideal situation for divorced parents and their children is one in which the estranged couple can have an amicable and cooperative relationship as co-parents. However, this is not always possible. Research shows that witnessing conflict between their parents is the most damaging element of divorce for children. Texas couples who want to avoid this but who cannot get along may want to consider parallel parenting.

The basic idea behind parallel parenting is that in order to avoid conflict, parents will essentially avoid one another. In order to do this and still share custody or allow one parent visitation rights while the other has custody, parents need to put a detailed schedule into place. Their plan needs to be very structured, and they also need a method of indirect communication. This might be sharing calendars or agreeing to only communicate using email. In a co-parenting situation, in contrast, there is a great deal of interaction.

In the latter arrangement, parents respect one another. They also respect their children's relationship with the other parent. Parallel parenting requires one parent to step back and allow the other parent to have a relationship with the child without trying to control it. Even the most rigid parallel parenting plan may need to change over time as children get older. A parallel parenting relationship can also transition to a co-parenting relationship as conflicts dissipate over time.

Whether they choose co-parenting, parallel parenting or something in between, people also need to either negotiate an agreement for child custody or go to court. Negotiating is often lower-conflict, and it can allow parents to create a schedule that suits them and their children. Their attorneys can help them, and parents do not have to have direct communication during this process either if they do not want to. They can also negotiate property division and any other parts of the divorce.

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