What To Know About Parallel Parenting After Divorce
March 13, 2023

You vowed to be together for life. However, marriages don’t always go as planned.

Divorce can be difficult, especially when there are children involved. It’s important to learn how to co-parent and figure out how to move forward in a way that’s in your children’s best interest.

For many, parallel parenting is the way to go. This option allows parents to interact as minimally as possible with each other. Here’s what you need to know.

Co-parenting Vs. Parallel Parenting

Co-parenting is where you and your ex can work together to raise your child without toxicity. Both homes have similar plans and rules. You can discuss issues, find solutions together, and attend school events and extracurricular activities.

Co-parenting involves a lot of communication and the ability to work together in a healthy manner.

In parallel parenting, each parent has specific responsibilities, but they communicate as little as possible. Unlike co-parenting, parents take turns attending their child’s appointments and events. Responsibilities and exact details will depend on the parenting plan.

When To Choose Parallel Parenting

Parents that don’t have a healthy relationship with one another often opt for parallel parenting. It means their child or children won’t be exposed to their unhealthy relationship.

This parenting method should be considered when there’s high conflict between both parents, and the child runs the risk of being exposed to it.

The Benefits of Parallel Parenting

Parallel parenting allows children to have a relationship with both parents while protecting them from parental conflict. It prevents children from being in the middle of disputes or feeling that they’re the reason their parents can’t get along.

Perhaps most importantly, this method allows both parents to be involved in their child’s lives. A few benefits for the children involved include:

  • Fewer behavioral problems
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Better performance at school
  • Fewer emotional problems

What Your Parenting Plan Should Include

The goal of parallel parenting is to limit communication between parents. To ensure this happens, the parenting plan in place needs to be as detailed as possible.

Some parents may agree on major decisions like religion, school, healthcare providers, and extracurricular activities and leave the rest to the parent exercising their parenting time. Others may assign a certain area to each parent and have them responsible for making those decisions.

Nonetheless, these plans should include the following:

  • Each parent’s parenting time
  • A specific exchange that includes the time and place
  • Holiday and vacation schedules
  • How decisions will be made regarding school, activities, etc.
  • Rules on being late, canceling, or rescheduling
  • Parental communication, often through a third party

A legal representative will ensure all important elements are covered in your parallel parenting plan to minimize conflict for the long term.

Hire a Divorce Attorney in Harrisburg, PA

Parallel parenting is an effective solution when co-parenting isn’t an option. It means each parent will fulfill their parental responsibilities and be an active participant in their child’s life.

If you’re unsure whether this is the right solution for you and your family, reach out to Daley Zucker’s divorce attorneys in Harrisburg, PA, for help.

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