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Tips for parallel parenting

Parents in Maryland who are going through a divorce may want to share custody or ensure that one child has ample visitation time with the parent who does not have custody. At the same time, the parents may find that whenever they are together or try to communicate, it erupts into conflict. This can be particularly upsetting for their children. Studies show that it is exposure to this conflict that is the most difficult for children after divorce, so parents should seek to minimize it.

Co-parenting requires a level of cooperation and communication that couples in this situation might not be capable of. However, there is an alternative. If parents are generally in agreement on major issues, such as religion and medical care, they may want to consider giving parallel parenting a try.

In parallel parenting, parents minimize contact as much as possible to avoid conflict. This means making a detailed schedule and working out a plan for limited contact, such as email or sharing calendars. In high-conflict situations, parents may have the urge to try to control one another, but they should not give into this temptation. Finally, parents should keep in mind that over time, they may need to change their schedule as their children get older. However, conflict between parents might also dissipate and they might co-parent more.

Even parents who are experiencing significant conflict might be able to reach a resolution concerning child custody and visitation through negotiations with their attorneys. They do not necessarily have to communicate directly at this time. However, if parents cannot make a decision, they will have to go to court. The judge will take a number of factors into account, including what will give the child the most stability, when making a decision that is in the best interests of the child.

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