If your marriage ended on a contentious note, the thought of interacting with your spouse regarding your children, as you both part ways in life, might make you cringe. If so, you wouldn’t be the first person to want to get as far away as possible from their ex after divorce. You want what’s best for your children, though, and you understand that they love and want to be with their other parent as much as you. What can California parents do to keep the peace and avoid child custody disputes?
In such cases, it’s helpful to implement a parallel parenting strategy. This is an arrangement that works well for former spouses whose parenting styles are quite different from each other. It’s also useful to those who can’t seem to be in the same room without arguing. If you want to try this strategy, you and your ex must first agree to several ground rules.
Parallel parenting can alleviate child custody stress
Parallel parenting is a co-parenting strategy where parents do not interfere with each other’s households in any way, and they avoid in-person interaction with each other. The following list includes several issues to which you and your ex must agree for parallel parenting to work.
- That only one parent at a time will attend school events, outings and special occasions.
- To exchange custody at a neutral location or through a supervised service.
- That each parent will make everyday decisions regarding the children without consulting the other for issues like chores, food choices, activities and bedtimes.
- To limit correspondence to text messaging, email or a structured template printed from online.
The primary goal is to promote peaceful co-parenting by avoiding interaction or intrusion into each other’s daily lives. Children cope better following a divorce when parental conflict is minimal.
Resolving child custody issues that arise
You might be able to put a parallel parenting plan into practice yet still encounter child custody problems. If that happens, it’s best to try to remain calm, assess the situation and reach out for support as needed to help resolve the issue. For example, if your ex is denying you access to your children while they’re in his or her custody, you can bring the matter to the court’s attention.
It’s not always possible to amicably resolve an issue, especially if your ex is trying to cause trouble on purpose. This is why there are California child custody guidelines. The court believes in helping parents establish an agreement that protects children’s best interests and provides them with the coping skills they need to come to terms with their parents’ divorce.