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What Is a Parallel Parenting Plan in an Illinois Divorce?

Kane County child custody lawyer for parallel parentingAlthough couples typically do not enter into marriage thinking they are going to get divorced down the road, it can and does happen. Whether two people have been married a few years or a few decades, life circumstances can change, impacting their relationship. Sometimes, partners simply grow apart, or one spouse may have an extramarital affair. In many contentious divorce cases, a couple may want nothing to do with each other once the ink dries on their divorce decree. However, if a couple has children, they may struggle to share child custody if they are unable to communicate with each other in a civil manner. In these cases, parents may choose an alternative parenting plan. Parallel parenting is a type of arrangement where divorced co-parents have limited contact with each other. Depending on the situation, it may work better than the typical co-parenting option.

Agreeing to Disagree

In a divorce, if the ex-spouses do not see eye to eye on various issues, they can agree to disagree, so to speak, but still be involved in their children’s lives. By choosing a parallel parenting plan, they can avoid a lot of arguments and unnecessary stress and make sure they are not putting pressure on their kids. This may mean the only contact between parents will be through written communication, such as text messages or emails, with no face-to-face or telephone conversations.

Communicating with each other is important when considering the logistics of how and when kids will travel between each parent’s house. Similarly, both parents can support their children by attending their sporting events, band concerts, or theater productions, but they do not have to ride there together or sit by each other.

The parallel parenting style removes the focus away from the parents and places it solely on what is in the kids’ best interests. A few of the main advantages of parallel parenting include:

  • Less conflict between ex-spouses
  • More productive communication
  • Improved relationships between the children and parents

In some cases, parents may assume different decision-making responsibilities, such as one parent being responsible for educational decisions and the other for children’s medical care. They may agree on major decisions regarding children’s upbringing but have separate routines, rules, and discipline styles in each household. Parallel parenting can provide a foundation for cooperative co-parenting, allowing parents to build a new relationship in which they work together to meet their children’s needs.

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney

A divorce can be a very stressful experience, even if it is a mutual decision between two spouses. There are many issues that will need to be addressed, especially if you have children together. At The Thomas Law Office, we have proven success in representing the best interests of our clients. Our seasoned and compassionate McHenry County divorce lawyer will help you and your spouse come to an agreeable resolution on child-related issues. To arrange a confidential consultation, call us today at 847-426-7990.

Sources:

https://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/co-parenting-after-divorce/201309/parallel-parenting-after-divorce

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