What is parallel parenting?

Most parents, and the court, believe that planning out a co-parenting plan is in the best interest of their children. This way, with a co-parenting plan, parents can work together to uphold their responsibilities and obligations to their children. As such, visitation and legal matters are discussed together, such as schooling, religious upbringing, dietary restrictions and medical attention.

However, for some parents, no amount of compromise and reconciliation can be made to agree on a parenting plan. As a result, some parents may need to consider creating a parallel parenting plan. Here’s what you should know:

Should you get a parallel parenting plan?

A parallel parenting plan is an arrangement where both parents are given rights over their children, to visit and care for, without the other parent fighting for control. In other words, each parent is free to care for their child how they see fit and any larger issues are discussed through email, text or call. This way, parents aren’t constantly fighting about what’s best for their children.

Parents often create a parallel parenting plan because of a few reasons. Namely, the most common reason is that it reduces fighting between parents. Some issues between spouses aren’t fixed after divorce and this can be greatly upsetting for a child’s development. Another example would be if one parent is narcissistic – they want complete control over their child and want their child’s other parent to fall in line to their demands.

What’s included in a parallel parenting arrangement?

You’ll have to determine how this parallel parenting arrangement will work. The following is what you should consider:

  • How visitation is split: both you and the other parent will still have visitation rights, however, it may not need to be the same as in your co-parenting plan.
  • Where your children are dropped off and picked up: you’re trying to eliminate as much communication with the other spouse and that includes where you’ll pick up or drop off your children up.
  • How to handle disputes: there will likely still be some disputes, not as many with a parallel parenting plan, so you should come up with a system to talk about your differences.

If you believe a parallel parenting plan will best benefit you and your child, then you may need to know your legal rights.