Parallel Parenting vs Co-Parenting: What are the Benefits?

divorce lawyersAfter a divorce is finalized, many parents struggle to navigate the shared parental duties particularly if the divorce was hostile or contentious. Parenting is challenging enough, but when you add a resentful ex to the mix, any small issue can explode into a major conflict. 

Shared parenting efforts are known as co-parenting, which is where separate parents work together to provide for a child’s needs and ensure that the family adheres to any parenting schedules or arrangements. Over time, many divorced parents learn to temper their emotions and work together for the sake of the kids. In many cases however, mutual cooperation and understanding is just not in the cards.

For these strained relationships, parallel parenting might be a better alternative. 

What is Parallel Parenting?

Unlike co-parenting, parallel parenting is an approach that limits the amount and type of interactions between both parents. They still work together to care for the kids as required, but keep communication limited to simple, factual logistics. In most cases, this means short texts, e-mails, or even communications via specific parenting apps designed for parallel parenting.

In some cases, some parents may even opt to involve a neutral third party to help shuffle communications between both parties. 

Whatever the approach, parallel parenting allows parties to schedule calendars, communicate drop-off or pick up points, or flag any issues or concerns in a way that is business-like. This helps ensure that peace is kept at all times. 

Parallel Parenting Requires a Clearly Defined Plan

There are some important requirements that must be in place for both parents to be able to successfully implement this strategy into their lives. For one, despite any bitterness or spite that may be present between parents, both must feel comfortable in trusting the other party when looking after the children. Since communication is going to be limited, there is less opportunity for both parents to check up on the others’ activities, request unofficial day to day changes, and more. 

Finally, there has to be a very clear parenting plan in place. Any ambiguity or potential confusion could come from a too loosely defined plan or from emerging situations that were not accounted for. Without a solid plan in place, parallel parenting becomes very challenging to manage.

Consult with a CA Divorce Attorney Today

As you can see, there are some clear benefits to parallel parenting. However, all involved parties are more likely to benefit from more rather than less communication. That said, every family situation is unique and different approaches make sense for different situations. 

We hope this post provides you with important insight into how parallel parenting works. To learn more about this, other custody issues, or any matter relating to family law in CA, remember that we at R & S Law Group, LLP are a phone call away. 

We offer free initial consultations! Call us at (949) 825-5245 to connect with our trusted divorce attorneys in CA today.