The challenges and advantages of parallel parenting

Texas parents who are getting divorced may hope to establish a healthy co-parenting relationship with each another. However, if there is a great deal of conflict, this may not be possible. An alternative to co-parenting is an approach called parallel parenting.

In both co-parenting and parallel parenting, exes should want what's best for their children. Sometimes, that means less interaction between exes. Parallel parenting eliminates as much direct contact as possible to reduce the likelihood of conflict. Research indicates that parental arguing is particularly difficult for children to deal with in a divorce.

Co-parents usually communicate extensively. Since this is not possible for parallel parents, they have to put a detailed plan in place to eliminate the need for them to communicate. For the situations in which they do need to communicate, parallel parents also need a plan. They could get around direct communication by sharing schedules or exchanging information using email.

All parent's should support their children's relationship with the other parent. However, parallel parents have to learn to stay out of the relationship. Their challenge is relinquishing control. But parallel parents should realize that as their children get older, their needs might change. These exes might also be able to communicate better a few years after the divorce.

Many separating couples struggle to reach agreements on child custody and visitation, but this does not automatically mean they have to go straight to litigation. They can negotiate without direct contact by communicating through their attorneys. Mediation can help spouses who are in high-conflict situations reach solutions that are agreeable to all parties.

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