Pennsylvania parents on the cusp of breaking up are likely to be concerned about the impact a split will have on both the children and the individual parenting time breakdown of a court-ordered parenting arrangement. By far, the most successful parenting model is a collaborative co-parenting arrangement in which both parents set aside individual differences to focus on the best interests of the children, regardless of personal feelings or hostilities toward each other. Unfortunately, some parents unable to put acrimony behind them for the benefit of their offspring or to respect the role of the other parent in the lives of children.

In situations where the parents harbor substantial acrimony or are unable to resist attempts to micromanage the other’s parenting time, a parallel parenting arrangement might be the best way forward. Under such an arrangement, a tightly structured agreement is put in place that addresses every conceivable contingency and limits the need for parents to interact. Some communication is always needed however, and a format for communicating about logistics and other matters must be adopted. Email is generally the preferred method, but third-party intermediaries are sometimes used to limit interaction between fighting parents.

One of the most important factors in any functioning parenting arrangement is the commitment of each parent to respect the other’s role in the lives of their kids. Well-adjusted children of divorce are more likely when stable relations with both parents exist. Any attempt to undermine the role of a parent by the other party is likely to hurt the children and may result in punishment from a judge.

Child custody and visitation agreements can be difficult to put in place due to acrimony and the highly charged emotional nature of family splits. Consulting a qualified family law attorney may help prevent costly mistakes and streamline the process for everyone involved.