Parallel parenting when co-parenting will not work

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2020 | Family Law |

Even when you dissolve your North Carolina marriage, if you have children, you still interact with your ex. Experts recommend co-parenting for ongoing interaction with both parents. However, this may not be feasible in all situations. This is where parallel parenting comes in. We often help clients establish a new normal when developing a parenting plan that focuses on the best interests of the child.

According to coParenter, co-parenting is for divorced partners who can still communicate well. Using this cooperative model, children move easily between households. Parents both attend school functions and respond cordially to the other. In these situations, you compare notes frequently, keeping each other up-to-date on life events and have a forum for conflict resolution.

Co-parenting vs. parallel parenting

If you and your ex cannot be in the same room or have a conversation without anger and frustration spilling over, co-parenting may not be the best solution for you or your kids. Conflict creates pain and anguish, negatively affecting children. Parallel parenting is an arrangement that offers many of the same benefits as co-parenting, yet limits direct contact with your ex.

Benefits of parallel parenting

You and your former partner can refrain from engaging directly with each other most of the time. Guidelines include:

  • Refraining from using your children as messengers
  • Obtaining a written agreement for schedule changes
  • Communicating in a professional, non-personal manner
  • Sharing schedules via a calendar or in writing

Children maintain healthy bonds with both parents, which often leads to higher self-esteem. By cooperating, you can help your kids develop strong communication and problem-solving skills, setting them up for success. Life after divorce can have less stress, helping you provide a healthy environment for your children and allowing you to move forward with your own life.