What is parallel parenting?

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2024 | Child Custody |

If you need to create custody arrangements for your minor children and you and your ex do not get alone, it’s worth learning more about parallel parenting.

The term refers to sharing parenting in a way that is somewhat different from co-parenting – which is what most former couples engage in after a romantic split.

Parallel parenting is for parents who can’t effectively co-parent

Co-parenting requires a lot of cooperation and communication. At least, it does if it is to be effective. The problem is that some former couples hate the sight of each other. Even if things are not that extreme, the thought of having to communicate a lot with your ex may give you shivers.

Maybe you just cannot agree on things anymore, and attempts to discuss things end up with both sides upset. That’s not healthy for you or your children. Perhaps your child’s other parent is manipulative or abusive, and dealing with them will only leave you vulnerable once more. Again, this is no way to live, and children also suffer when seeing one parent mistreat the other either.

Parallel parenting allows you to leave each other to parent in their own way without constantly trying to meet each other’s approval or compromise. By minimizing parental contact, you remove opportunities for friction or manipulation. It does not mean you will never have to communicate; it just reduces the frequency with which you have to do so.

If you can co-parent, that is almost certainly preferable, but it’s important to be realistic about these things. Whichever arrangement you opt for, it’s wise to get legal help to learn more about how to document your decision and make it enforceable.