Child custody arrangements in Alaska can take several forms. Sole custody is rare, but a court will order it if it’s in the child’s best interests. In most cases, however, some level of joint custody will be ordered. The court’s decision when ordering joint custody often comes down to the ability and willingness of the parents to co-parent their children. Co-parenting is heavily dependent on quality communication and respect between the parents. If the parents can’t work with one another, a parallel parenting situation may develop.

Parallel parenting is a structure in which the parents each want relationships with the children but don’t get along well enough to co-parent. In such an arrangement, the parents remain connected with the kids but they disengage from one another. Furthermore, each parent should endeavor not to interfere with the other’s relationship with the kids. In order to make a parallel parenting arrangement work, the parents should address potential conflicts, make a plan and practice mutual respect.

Children should not be exposed to conflict between their parents. Some experts say that it’s the single largest source of anguish for children after a divorce. Because parallel parenting assumes the parents will not be communicating, it’s important at the outset to establish rules and a plan for necessary communications.

Parallel parenting, like co-parenting, works best when the parents have respect for each other. This is also best for the kids. In divorce cases where children are involved, there are family law attorneys for men who might be able to help. A lawyer who practices family law for fathers might examine the facts of the case and develop a strategy for child custody hearings.