Cases that involve child custody in the Orange County family law courts tend to be one of the most hotly contested cases, where the emotions can sometimes take the better of both parties since the case involves their children. In child custody cases in California, the words parallel parenting plan are being used increasingly. When cases are hotly contested and have emotions running high, in such high conflict cases there is effectively little or no communication between the parents which means being able to formulate a single parenting plan is almost impossible.
Often after a divorce, the level of bitterness in the parents can increase which is usually carried on to and taken to another level in child custody cases. In such cases, where the conflict and hostility between the parents makes co-parenting impossible, parenting plans need to be used.
Situations where Co-parenting is Impossible
Here are a few instances where co-parenting can be almost impossible for parents to agree on:
- Both the parents are at logger heads with each other and lack respect for each other
- The emotional distress that comes with divorce has overcome them and bars them from having effective communication with each other
- One of the parents has a level of bitterness about the other parent which makes co-parenting impossible. Bitterness can be due to a number of factors that may include the Orange County divorce, distribution of assets, or the behavior of the other spouse.
Definition of Parallel Parenting
Just like its name, parallel parenting is parenting by both parents simultaneous to each other with little or no need for either to communicate or have discussions with the other. In a parenting plan, parents are made autonomous for parenting and custodial decisions when the child is under their custody.
How a Parallel Parenting Plan Should Be?
The major difference between co-parenting and parallel parenting plans is the aspect of communication. Therefore, to eliminate the need for communication between the divorced parents, the parallel parenting plans need to be detailed.
Here are few things that a typical parallel parenting plan should clearly have outlined in it:
- Dates that specify the starting and ending date of each custodial period for the child
- How and where will the child be handed over to the other spouse
- Other issues which may give rise to an undue conflict in such a case
While parallel parenting can be deemed as something that relieves the parents of communicating for the benefit of their child, it is also worth recognizing that it saves the child from witnessing constant bickering about his or her life between the parents. However, it is always better and preferable when at all possible to co-parent than having to parallel parent.
Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law attorney and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.