When couples divorce, some find it difficult to get through the process without conflict. Since Texas judges want parents to make decisions in the best interests of the children, cooperative parenting in the wake of a contentious divorce may seem impossible.
What can parents do if the typical co-parenting model will not work for them? Luckily, there is an option that allows parents to care for their children while remaining at arm’s length from each other.
What is parallel parenting?
A typical co-parenting plan requires that the parents remain in communication and continue to make some choices together. However, in a parallel plan, this is not the case. Instead, parents draw up agreements as part of their divorce and then parent accordingly. They do not make joint decisions and often, they do not communicate.
In a parallel parenting plan, the parents also do not attend the same school functions if possible. This plan keeps the parents separate and reduces the chance of conflict. If it becomes necessary for parents to contact each other, they often use a neutral third party to act as an intermediary.
What is the point of parallel parenting?
A parallel plan allows each parent to retain control over their respective parenting decisions when appropriate while eliminating contact with the other. Doing this can prove beneficial to the children, as it reduces the stress and conflict that may arise.
It is possible that, over time, a parallel parenting structure can migrate into a cooperative one. However, if this is not possible, parents may continue on their own paths until the children age out of the plan.