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What should you do when you cannot co-parent with your ex?

When a couple chooses to part ways, they may start off with the best of intentions. If their separation was amicable, it may prove to signal a positive divorce and post-divorce experience.

However, what if your experience is different or changes later on down the line? What if your ex suddenly stops communicating and starts doing things contrary to previous beliefs and practices? When you and your ex have children and need to develop a post-divorce parenting strategy, you may want to skip the co-parenting and adopt a parallel plan instead.

There is no one-size-fits-all parenting plan

Divorce is unfortunately common, and there are plenty of examples of carefully crafted parenting plans that may or may not work. While your attorney may give you samples to work from, nothing may seem to apply to your situation. Therefore, it is critical that you keep your family dynamic in mind when crafting a plan for your children.

Parallel living may work out better

Co-parenting sets the expectation that both parents will try to make decisions together or set similar expectations with their children. However, if you had trouble agreeing while married, it is likely this trend may continue for some time. A parallel plan sets up a similar set of parameters, but the parents basically run their homes with their children as they see fit. This does not change custody or even parenting time. It does, however, take the pressure off trying to reach an agreement on difficult issues for your children.

Children thrive with consistency

A parallel plan does not mean your children will not do well. It means they will have separate rules for each home in which they reside. This is not all that different from what may result in a co-parenting situation. The real difference is that as long as the parents create stability from the onset, the children become accustomed to it sooner.

A parallel parenting plan may work better for your situation than co-parenting. Speak to your attorney to see if you should try this route during your divorce.

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Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White
30 North King Street
Leesburg, VA 20176

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