Choosing Parallel Parenting in High-Conflict Divorce

After a difficult marriage, you and your spouse are choosing to divorce, but while you wish for a clean break with no further contact with your ex. But if you have children together, is this possible? Our divorce attorneys in Raleigh are exploring parallel parenting and how this arrangement may be the healthiest option for everyone involved, especially your children.

What Is Parallel Parenting?

Parallel parenting is when the two parents of a child have as little contact as possible, parenting the child completely separately. Often, this is set up in high-conflict divorces when the two parties can't communicate in a healthy, effective manner. While the adults are disengaged from one another, this allows them to be fully engaged as parents.

Examples of how this plays out include:

  • Communication is neutral and minimal, often occurring via email when necessary details need to be shared or explained or keeping a "parent notebook" where important information can be shared without any judgement or commenting about the other party's parenting.
  • Day-to-day parenting is kept completely separate.
  • Parents often split events, like taking turns going to extracurricular activities or parent meetings.
  • Parents may divide responsibilities, such as one parent dealing with school and school decisions while the other takes on medical responsibilities, including doctor's appointments and health insurance.

Parallel Parenting vs. Co-Parenting

Co-parenting is a collaborative way for parents to work together and parent, presenting a united front even though they are divided. Often, co-parenting involves working through issues together, maintaining a flow of communication, and both parents being at events and taking on responsibilities together.

Parallel parenting is basically the opposite as there is minimal interaction between the two parties. However, this method is often not permanent. As the two parties work through the acrimonious divorce and successfully work through the custody arrangements, trust is often restored, time heals the worst of the wounds, and they can begin opening up communication and collaboration. Parallel parenting provides the distance both parties need, and it often builds a foundation for a healthier co-parenting relationship in the future.

Is Parallel Parenting Right for Your Family?

Parallel parenting is ideal for a couple who have had a difficult marriage or are going through high-conflict divorce and want to protect their children from witnessing harmful behavior or uncomfortable situations such as arguments. However, if this arrangement sounds like it may be the right option for your family, it's important to have a child custody attorney who can outline and build a highly detailed, structured plan for both parties to follow, including how everything from holidays and extracurricular events to parent-teacher meetings are divided . Trying to work out this type of parenting relationship without legal counsel can result in arguments, one parent shutting the other out, or leading to disengagement with the children as well as the spouse.

Schedule a Consultation with a Child Custody Attorney in Raleigh Today

If you are considering a divorce or need an experienced divorce and child custody attorney in Raleigh who will aggressively fight for your best interests, reach out to Doyle Law Group today. We can help you set up a detailed plan for parallel parenting to ensure a healthy way forward for you and your children.

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