Couples going through a high-conflict divorce in New Hampshire frequently have difficulty coming to a child custody agreement with their former spouse. Yet, scientific research indicates that children of divorce do better when both parents remain involved in their lives. One solution to this conflict is parallel parenting.
What is parallel parenting
Parallel parenting is a method of shared child custody where the parents interact as little as possible with one another while maintaining relationships with their children. It can be a long-term solution or temporary until the spouses can put aside their differences, assume a civil relationship and work more directly with each other.
Compared to co-parenting, where both spouses work together to raise their children, couples engaging in parallel parenting assign specific responsibilities to each parent, carrying out daily duties without involving the other parent. Exact details depend on your parenting plan, with some couples agreeing on agreeing on major decisions, while others assign a particular area to each parent. In this scenario, parents alternate going to appointments, school events and the like with their children to reduce their time with their former spouse.
Benefits of this plan include:
• Minimizing conflict
• Allowing both parents to remain involved
• Experiencing fewer behavioral problems
• Fewer emotional problems
• Better family relationships
Developing a parallel parenting plan
New Hampshire courts favor parenting plans where both parents spend adequate time with their children. In contentious divorces, even developing a parallel parenting plan can be challenging. If this sounds like your situation, involving a neutral third party in the negotiations can help. A mediator may be able to help you work out the details so you don’t have to face your spouse directly. Going through mediation can help you focus on your children instead of your conflict.
All custody agreements should focus on the children’s best interests, not the parents’ wishes. Thus, spouses frequently have to compromise on the final plan. Note that you can modify your agreement and transition to a more traditional co-parenting plan if you and your spouse resolve differences and feel greater cooperation is possible.