If this scenario sounds familiar to you and your future former spouse, you aren’t alone. Not every soon-to-be divorced couple fits into the popular image of co-parents who spend holidays together and otherwise continue to spend time together after the divorce as they work together to keep parenting their children.
That may be the ideal situation that parents here in Florida and elsewhere are supposed to live up to despite their current situation. However, that is entirely too much pressure to put on two people who no longer want to be married and live together. Anger, hurt and resentment could still be the predominant atmosphere in which you are supposed to act like everything is fine for the sake of your children.
That isn’t always possible
It may mystify you as to how some parents can “get along” and “act friendly” toward each other so soon after the end of their personal relationship. After all, you and your future former spouse can’t even be in the same room together without it feeling as though you could cut the tension with a knife. If you start talking to each other, it ultimately degrades into an argument. How are you supposed to co-parent under these circumstances?
Fortunately, you don’t have to. You can still spend as much time as possible with your children without spending time with the other parent. Parallel parenting allows for joint custody of the children, but it seriously limits the amount of contact and communication the two of you have. You only need to communicate about the children, and even then, unless the children are in danger, you can’t discuss the supposed mistakes or failings of the other parent — to each other or to the children.
Does this sound like a better plan for your family?
If not having to see or talk to your ex-spouse unless absolutely necessary and having unfettered autonomy regarding your time with the children — as long as they aren’t in danger — are attractive, then parallel parenting may work for you. In order for this type of agreement to work, you will need to create a very specific parenting plan, especially when it comes to the parenting time schedule, method of communication, custody exchanges and more.
You could greatly increase your chances of devising a parallel parenting plan that will work well and meet with the approval of a Florida court by working with a family law attorney who can help make sure you cover all the pertinent bases and protect your rights at the same time.