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When parallel parenting may be beneficial

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2023 | Child Custody |

As a parent, you try to do what’s best for your child. That includes attempting to have a cordial co-parenting relationship with your ex-partner.

Unfortunately, for some divorcing couples, co-parenting is not always possible. They need to find another parenting solution.

How is parallel parenting different from co-parenting?

Parallel parenting and co-parenting are two different approaches to shared parenting after a divorce or separation. Both methods allow parents to share custody and remain involved in their children’s lives, but how they interact and coordinate differs significantly.

Co-parenting involves both parents working together to raise their child. They make joint decisions regarding the child’s education, health and general welfare. They communicate regularly and have a parenting plan that allows them to each spend quality time with their child.

This type of arrangement generally works best when there is minimum conflict in the parenting relationship.

Parallel parenting is where each parent has their own parenting style and rules for when their child is with them. They parent independently of each other and communicate only when necessary. It can be used where there is a high level of conflict between the parents, that would be detrimental to the child. Other benefits include:

  • With communication limited to essential matters about the children, parallel parenting can reduce stress and anxiety in both parents and children.
  • It allows the parents to establish clear boundaries amidst the emotional turmoil of a divorce.
  • If parents have different parenting styles and values, the parallel parenting approach eliminates the need for either parent to compromise.

Parallel parenting may work in some situations, but it might not be the best long-term solution. Still, in the immediate aftermath of a highly contentious divorce, it offers both parents a chance to heal while focusing on the well-being of their child.