The fact of the matter is that co-parenting isn't for everyone. Some relationships are simply too fraught with conflict to work together. Just because you and the other parent can't have an amicable relationship right now doesn't mean you can't help your children through the divorce and let them know their parents still love them.
You and the other parent may not be able to work together or communicate over the long term, but that doesn't mean you can't put aside your differences long enough to put together a parenting plan that will work for your family.
Parallel parenting could give you the answers you need
This form of co-parenting acknowledges the fact that you and your future former spouse can't operate as friends even to raise your children. It also acknowledges that you want to continue to give your children the love and support they need. The primary difference between this and co-parenting is the amount of communication you will have with the other parent.
With parallel parenting, you will have little communication with the other parent. You and the other parent agree to strictly follow the parenting plan you create. You avoid conflict by keeping your communications to the point, not in person as often as possible, and only about issues relating to the children.
What you get out of parallel parenting
When you decide to use parallel parenting instead of co-parenting, you receive the following benefits:
- The only person you need to control is yourself.
- You and the other parent are free to parent your children as you see fit as long as the children are safe and not subjected to anything that could harm them.
- You have the freedom to meet your child's needs in an atmosphere without judgment and conflict.
- You agree not to criticize each other, especially in front of the children.
- You agree to respect each other as parents. You may not think much of your ex as a spouse, but that does not mean he or she isn't a good parent.
- You can add as much detail as you need into your parenting plan, including a mutually agreed to method to resolve any conflicts that may arise.
- You can take advantage of technology to help you limit your communications. You can use emails, online calendars, smartphone apps, and whatever other technology you agree to in order to make your parenting go more smoothly.
Should you need to come together for your children, such as in a medical emergency, you can agree to keep your feelings for each other out of it and band together for the sake of your children.
If you do decide this form of co-parenting will work best for you, it would be in your best interests to consult with a Maryland attorney who can help ensure your rights are protected and that your parenting plan will receive approval from the court.