After a divorce, it’s typically expected that parents will split their responsibilities for and obligations to their children. In the eyes of the court, this is in the best interest of the children.
Parents will have to make many considerations when discussing the extent of their duties in a child custody agreement. As such, parents will have to decide where their children will go to school, who they’ll live with for a majority of the time, how medical attention is handled, their dietary needs and basic accommodations. It’s a lot to consider all at once.
Many of these decisions are made once a parenting plan is determined. Many parents put aside their differences in a co-parenting plan. However, some parenting plans don’t work out and parents have to figure out an alternative. This is where parallel parenting can work. Here are some of the basic differences:
Working together in a co-parenting plan
As stated above, a co-parenting plan is used when both parents will make some compromises to work with the other parent. This means parents will likely have constant communication and make a lot of the big and little decisions together. Yet, some decisions are already decided depending on who has legal and/or physical custody.
Parents usually have joint legal and physical custody in a co-parenting plan, so most decisions are made together.
Individual parenting rights in a parallel parenting plan
Many parents fight tooth and nail for their rights over their children. When this happens, parents may not be left with much of a cooperative spirit, so they make a parallel parenting plan.
This plan gives parents more individual freedom over their children and limits communication because it operates more on the basis of each parent making solo decisions over all minor things when it’s their time with the kids. Parents can reduce trauma for their children this way by reducing the conflicts surrounding them.
If you’re looking to make a parenting plan, you should have a strong understanding of your rights and legal options. There’s no one “right” parenting plan for all situations.