Divorce Attorney Nashville: Parallel Parenting Through Divorce

Are you looking for a divorce attorney Nashville? Co-parenting through divorce is not always the best solution for the family.

Couples divorce for many reasons and as divorce attorneys Nashville, we’ve seen it all. Sometimes divorce comes about suddenly as a result of a singular negative incident or because feelings gradually change over time until the differences are too much to bear. Whatever the reason and no matter whether the couple saw it coming or are reacting to an abrupt and unexpected chance in their relationship, falling out of love with someone you’ve dedicated so much of yourself to and built a life with is a shock to the system and can be a tough emotional journey. Some couples move on quickly and are able to remain friends, while others struggle to let go and move on, their feelings of hurt, blame and resentment lingering on long after the divorce is finalized.

The transition can be especially difficult when there are children involved. While they no longer have the role of husband and wife to fulfill, they still have a commitment as parents to raise their kids in a nurturing environment and therefore cannot just cut off the lines of communication. For those divorced couples who are fortunate enough to maintain a close friendship this isn’t so bad, but for those whose relationship is tinged with bitterness, the very sight of each other can set them off and cause feelings of hurt and blame to resurface. Parenting through divorce is challenging in general as both parties have a lot to process and figure out emotionally and financially, but when they have no desire to even speak to one another, discussions on how to raise their children can be particularly hard to bear. Nevertheless, it’s important that divorced couples work to keep their composure for the sake of the rest of the family and often times seek the advice of divorce attorneys Nashville in order to do so.

As parents, the last thing you want to do is make things harder on your children by exposing them to conflict. In fact, studies have shown that children who are exposed to conflict between their parents either during the marriage or after the divorce, can experience significant problems with relationships, academics, and sadly sometimes turn to substance abuse and other negative coping mechanisms. With this being said, parents should aim to keep their disagreements and negative feelings towards each other behind closed doors. However, parenting through divorce is tough and when emotions are running high this is easier said than done. If both parties can’t bring themselves to put their anger aside and talk through issues in a civil manner, then co-parenting is probably not the best solution. That’s where the alternative method of parallel parenting comes into effect.

So what is parallel parenting? For starters, the term originates from the child psychology principle of “parallel play”–when children play together side by side without actually interacting with one another. Parallel parenting works in much the same way in that it doesn’t rely on constant interaction between the parties involved, but rather encourages parents who don’t get along to keep their distance from each other.

But how can important decisions be made when interaction is slim to none? The answer is a detailed parenting plan. Parents who follow the parallel parenting method first and foremost agree to not communicate about any minor issues regarding their children. Instead, they divvy up responsibilities regarding major decisions. One parent might make all necessary medical decisions while the other parent is in charge of all education related decisions. This way they can avoid face-to-face or verbal exchanges that could result in an uproar. Day to day decisions that come about regarding the lives of the children depend upon which parent has care over them at the time. The parent who is currently caring for the children sets the rules and makes decisions about bedtime, clothing, friends, extracurricular activities, etc. until it’s the other parent’s turn to assume custody.

Parallel parenting simply requires that both parents comply with each other. Because parents might have different views as to how to raise their children, it’s often a good idea to work through negotiations and set out clear guidelines in the presence of a neutral 3rd party such as a divorce attorney Nashville. At this time both parents can decide on matters such as how they wish to communicate if a serious issue should arise that the other parent should be aware of. Doing so in the presence of a divorce attorney Nashville means there is someone there to help mediate the conversation and keep things civil, which is essentially the goal of parallel parenting–to refrain from engaging in negative conflict in order to lessen the stress of the divorce on your children.

If you have any other questions about parenting during a divorce or are in need of general support to help ease you through the divorce process, your favorite divorce attorneys Nashville are here to back you up both in court and out.


The attorneys of Cheatham, Palermo & Garrett, are experienced in the interpretation and application of Tennessee family laws and have been committed to protecting the financial and parental rights of men and women in Franklin and throughout Middle Tennessee for more than 30 years. They bring a wealth of legal knowledge and experience to each case they handle, providing their clients with skilled representation in the areas of Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Prenuptial Agreements, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Music/Intellectual Property, and Juvenile Court.

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