White and White Attorneys at Law
White & White Attorney

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What is parallel parenting?

You may divorce your spouse, but if you have children with him or her you will have a form of partnership forever. It is very likely that after your divorce you will be in a co-parenting situation of sorts with your ex spouse.

However, this can be very problematic if your ex-spouse is a narcissist or you are simply going through a very contentious time. In these situations, pursuing a parallel parenting situation may be preferable to co-parenting. According to Healthline, parallel parenting involves the parents working together to raise the child, but the parents are rarely if ever in the same physical space together.

Is this not just co-parenting?

No. Co-parenting typically involves both parents working together for the best interests of the child. Usually, in co-parenting arrangements, both parents will attend certain events together to support the child. For example, if a child has a music recital, in a co-parenting situation both parents would likely go to the recital and sit next to each other. They may bring their new partners as well.

What does parallel look like?

In a parallel parenting situation, one parent would attend the recital, and the other parent may attend the post-recital pizza party. Alternatively, one parent may be in charge of everything having to do with the child’s musical education, and the other one might do everything with sports. They never show up at the same place together.

The main benefit to parallel parenting is that it puts enough space between the parents so as not to expose the child needlessly to conflict. Parallel parenting can also transition into a more traditional co-parenting situation with enough time after the divorce.