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Parents who divorce may choose to parallel parent

Ideally, a couple who decides to end their marriage will agree on all necessary decisions and will part amicably. Unfortunately, as many Massachusetts residents going through or about to begin the divorce process know, this scenario does not often ring true. Divorcing parents often experience difficulty during and following a divorce when trying to raise their children in a happy, healthy environment. However, while co-parenting is likely the optimum solution for most, one expert suggests parallel parenting as a viable alternative toward this goal.

Divorced people who co-parent put their children’s needs first and through regular, peaceful communication agree on day-to-day details of childcare as well as overall strategies. While this parenting style will work for some, many divorced individuals still harbor negative emotions toward their ex-spouse or simply disagree on parenting philosophies, making effective co-parenting difficult if not impossible. As most parents know, children thrive best in an environment with minimal conflict in which they have a positive relationship with both parents.

In parallel parenting, parents decide separately on day-to-day parenting details, perhaps agreeing only on major decisions. They do not engage with each other and typically communicate only through written form and only about the children. While parents may have different parenting styles, household rules, etc., each parent does not interfere with the other’s relationship with the child. This non-interference can be difficult for some, but it is key to reducing conflict and creating that happy, healthy environment all parents seek for their children.

Divorced individuals and those currently going through the process well know the many challenges that arise during this time, particularly when children are involved. In a divorce situation, parents simply want what is best for their children, but knowing what that is and creating an effective parenting plan can be difficult when conflict exists between the divorcing parents. For professional guidance, Massachusetts residents can consult with an experienced family law attorney.


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