When spouses have children, they can rarely cut off all communication and contact with each other after a divorce. After all, they are both still parents. And if both parents wish to continue playing a role in their child’s life, then they will generally have to co-parent.
We have discussed co-parenting on our blog many times before, but there are several ways that parents can approach co-parenting after a divorce depending on their situation. One of these strategies is parallel parenting.
Parallel parenting significantly reduces parental interaction
Like parallel lines, parallel co-parents never intersect. They follow their parenting plan and custody agreement and fulfill their parenting duties without interacting. Divorced spouses might favor this arrangement if:
- Their divorce involved many disputes;
- There is a high level of conflict between the parents; or
- Collaborative co-parenting causes too much stress immediately after a divorce.
Of course, some level of communication is necessary between the parents. Many parents who use the parallel parenting strategy use email or text to communicate concisely.
Is parallel parenting beneficial for the kids?
Virginia, like most other states, agrees that children should maintain relationships with both parents after divorce, as long as those relationships do not cause them physical or emotional harm.
Parallel parenting supports that idea as well. Even though it might limit interaction between parents, it prioritizes the children. It allows:
- Parents to avoid arguing in front of their children;
- Both parents to focus on their individual relationship with their children; and
- The parents to concentrate on meeting their child’s needs, as well as their own, after divorce.
A parallel parenting arrangement might sound intense, and it does require careful planning and thought for it to work. However, depending on the family’s circumstances, this arrangement can be beneficial for both the parents and the children as they grow accustomed to life after divorce.
It is important to note that this arrangement does not have to be permanent either. Parents can modify their custody agreement and parenting plan to meet their family’s changing needs. And the attorneys at Bowen Ten Long & Bal, PC, can help guide Virginia families through divorce and help them determine the parenting arrangement that best fits their family’s needs.