Parents who are divorcing are faced with a number of different issues, many of which revolve around the children. In Indiana, parents utilize a parenting plan as a way to designate parenting time for each parent. Couples are encouraged to work together or through their attorneys to come to an agreement regarding the major issues of parenting. These include parenting time guidelines that allow both parents time during the week with their children. When the husband and wife are not able to agree about the parenting aspects of the divorce they may require parallel parenting plans.
Parallel parenting plans are simply a way to resolve parenting issues in high conflict divorces. Parallel parenting plans are meant to specifically address issues over which couples are in disagreement. There are various options available for a plan, depending on the issues that are in dispute among the parties. Plans such as these typically state that the parent who is currently caring for the child is able to make decisions for him or her. The responsibility changes back and forth based on which parent is “on duty” at any particular time.
Generally, most couples are able to co-parent effectively without major problems. But sometimes the situation between the two is so acrimonious that even simple communication between them is difficult and problematic. A parallel parenting plan allows the child to be taken out of the middle of the conflict. Parents utilizing this option do not have to deal with each other for the daily decisions that arise with children. When parents cannot effectively communicate with each other a parallel parenting plan is probably a good choice. When parents do need to communicate they may do so in writing.
One of the first things that you need to understand about such a plan is that it is meant to provide the best situation for the children. Regardless of how much the parents are in conflict, the parallel plan provides a buffer and a guideline to follow. When a parallel parenting plan is used one parent is designated as the sole legal custodian. Both parents still have the right to stay involved in activities, school, and other events in which the children participate. If changes need to be made the court requires both parties to participate in working out a solution. In fact, you may be required to partake in mediation efforts before a hearing will be provided.
If you are going through a contentious divorce you may find that communication regarding the children is strained at best. It is always best to try to resolve your issues, which can often be done with help from an experienced divorce lawyer. When a situation is tense it may be better to choose a parallel parenting plan rather than put yourself and your children through conflict. Your lawyer will help you work out problems and assist in determining when a parallel parenting plan is the best choice. When you are going through a difficult divorce with children you need assistance from the skilled lawyers at The Bellinger Law Office. Contact our compassionate legal team for a consultation today.