Divorce can, at times, mean a complete separation between the two ex-partners. When children are involved, there is usually a lot of interaction between the two divorced parents. This can create frustration and stress for all involved.
Under ideal circumstances, the divorced individuals would interact with each other in a way that reflects the best interests of the children. They would understand that even though they did not make the best marriage mates, they still have the chance to be great parents. This could require them to behave well when in each other's company and to communicate with each other. Although the bonds that drew them together when they first got married may have disappeared, their commitment to the welfare of their children should be put above their own personal convenience.
The reality is a lot different than the ideal. Children of divorced parents note that the differences parents have with each other often spillover into fights and other displays of aggression that can affect the children. In most cases, joint custody with some form of co-parenting arrangement is agreed upon. This requires healthy communication between the parents. Any unresolved bitterness from the marriage needs to be left behind, and focus must be put on what is best for the child.
Parallel parenting is an arrangement where each parent has a relationship with their children, but they remain completely disengaged from each other. Each parent allows the other to make decisions when it comes to the day-to-day logistics of how the children will be raised.
A family law attorney may work with divorcing parents to help them negotiate and create custody agreements. When necessary, an attorney may argue in court and show that their client is best suited to gain custody of the children and how this custody arrangement would be in the best interests of the children.