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Parallel parenting offers options to avoid divorce conflicts

Child custody, visitation and support issues are common concerns in New Jersey divorces, but problems may loom on the horizon when working out the day-to-day logistics of interacting with an ex-spouse. After a divorce, some type of custody arrangement is usually worked out that allows each parent to have input into how a child is raised. When divorced parents can't get along, however, even something as simple as picking up a child in a shared custody arrangement could become a problem.

The Good Men Project writes that one way to alleviate these problems is through parallel parenting. This method of parenting involves both parents being involved in the children's lives while not interfering with each other's lives. To do this, both parents must keep all interactions impersonal to avoid the potential for conflict. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done due to the need to communicate regarding major decisions in the children's lives.

To navigate the challenges of parallel parenting, The Good Men Project recommends that parents recognize that some amount of control must be sacrificed if the arrangement is to work. It also reminds parents that children's scheduling needs and desires change over time. Younger children generally thrive in structured environments whereas older children typically seek flexibility and freedom, meaning parents engaged in parallel agreements must be willing to change as well.

While parallel parenting may be a cut-and-dried decision for some divorced parents, other divorcing couples may be a bit more conflicted when deciding on child custody arrangements and the difficulties that come along with them. Parents may turn to the help of a family law attorney to work out arrangements that factor in the personal nature of a divorce and the best interests of the children. A family law attorney may also be a resource when it comes to drafting legal documents for spousal and child support when these issues need to be addressed.

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