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The level of conflict helps determine custodial arrangements

Kentucky parents headed for divorce or separation are typically most concerned about the custody arrangements for their children. Depending upon the nature of the relationship between the parents, custodial agreements can take various forms. When parents get along well or have demonstrated an ability to set differences aside for the benefit of children, a true co-parenting relationship can exist. Such an arrangement involves having a general agreement regarding what is best for the kids and a willingness to make that a priority above all else.

In situations where the parties cannot agree on what constitutes the best interests of the children or cannot get along for other reasons, a parallel parenting plan might be the best path. The goal of such a plan is to limit interactions and therefore create a peaceful and stable situation for the involved children. Family law professionals typically meet with parents and then negotiate a detailed plan in which virtually every contingency is considered. The parties are then left with having to only communicate regarding logistics in a rather formal manner. Contrasted with this is the collaborative approach where frequent communication is encouraged between the parents in order to keep everyone fully integrated in all aspects of a child's life.

In a parallel plan, parents have no input after the plan is negotiated regarding the children while they are with the other parent. In a collaborative relationship, the parents might jointly plan a birthday party or other joint celebrations. In parallel parenting, having separate parties is the norm. Some parents find it liberating to relinquish control and the desire to micromanage while others find it imminently frustrating. The good news is that parallel parenting plans can morph into collaborative relationships over time as tensions fade, but the basic structure does not require such a transition.

Child custody and visitation cases can be highly contentious. Consulting a qualified family law attorney may help parents make a plan for navigating the dispute in the most economical and advantageous way for all concerned.

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