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What is parallel parenting?

If you’ve recently undergone a contentious divorce in Michigan, the prospect of co-parenting may seem daunting. Parallel parenting is another option that allows you to effectively raise your children as a cohesive unit while maintaining a comfortable distance from your ex-spouse. Psychology Today explains this parenting trend and why it may be a good option for exes who can’t see eye to eye.

Benefits of parallel parenting

Whether you’re married or divorced, conflict is bad for children. All agree that keeping children out of the center of conflict is best for their development and real harm can occur if kids are put in the middle of two feuding parents. Conversely, kids fare best when they have both parents working on their behalf, which is why many courts prefer to award joint custody. Parallel parenting allows parents to do the important work of child-rearing while keeping acrimony to a minimum.

Communication is key

Communication is one area where you’ll need to make a determination on what works best for you. For instance, using text or email is often preferred, as it negates some of the stress associated with face-to-face contact. Another important issue is how you communicate with your former spouse. While it can be difficult, both parties should strive to treat the other party with respect and civility even when conflicts arise. Remember that your children’s happiness is the ultimate goal and that you and your ex are both responsible for making that happen.

Parallel parenting may restore relationships

In some cases, parallel parenting may allow you to fortify your relationship with your ex. Bad feelings are usually at their zenith immediately after a divorce, especially when the process was not amicable. In this case, keeping your distance from your former spouse for a period of time will allow tempers to cool. Additionally, working together to ensure your kids are well cared for may build a sense of trust and camaraderie, which is extremely beneficial. At some point, you may even be able to enter into a traditional co-parenting relationship with your ex.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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