Divorce is one of the most disrupting, unpleasant, and potentially traumatic experiences you can encounter in life—for both the couple and any children involved. Children’s emotional well-being can be severely affected and even the parent-child relationship could be torn apart from the fallout.
To combat these consequences, a new movement is sweeping the country known as “platonic parenting.” This arrangement typically involves spouses who refrain from divorce or get divorced but stay closely connected (even cohabitating) in order to put their children first and reduce the kid’s trauma. The couple remains highly amicable and cooperative but cease any romantic connection or commitment
It is important to note that this isn’t about “staying together for the kids,” where couples remain unhappily married solely for the children’s sake, a choice that is often just as traumatic as divorce.
Platonic parenting was pioneered within the LGBTQ community, since until recently same-sex couples couldn’t legally marry, and thus were forced to create outside-the-box parenting arrangements following a romantic split. Today, many people of all genders and sexual orientation are entering into these relationships and some believe this style of co-parenting can be just as healthy as those raised in happily married households.
Obviously, Platonic Parenting is no panacea, and the arrangement requires intense levels of trust, communication, and planning. The first step of the new partnership is for both parties to come up with a firm agreement around their financial commitments and living situation.
From there, work out other details including how to handle new romantic relationships, if and how to incorporate the platonic partner into family gatherings, and all manner of other basic ground rules. Then you must plan how you’ll discuss this with your kids and other family members, so everyone clearly understands exactly what this new life will entail.
Now days, platonic parenting isn’t just limited to married or otherwise romantically involved couples: Numerous people of all genders and orientations are entering into such relationships. For example, a heterosexual woman may partner with a gay man to provide a father (literally and/or figuratively) for her kids. Maybe two longtime friends of any gender combination who are interested in starting a family but haven’t found a suitable romantic partner decide to take the step. There are even cases where the arrangement involves three or more platonic parents who tag team, if you will, the immense responsibility of raising children.
With so many important agreements to be made, all parties involved are advised to seek legal counsel before creating such an arrangement. As your Personal Family Lawyer®, we specialize in helping you navigate these types of non-traditional partnerships. Whether you’re seeking advice on planning such an arrangement, or you need us to draft legally binding contracts, contact us today to make sure your new family is as happy and healthy as possible.
This article is a service of Levi Alexander, Personal Family Lawyer®. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, ™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.