Co-parenting is the preferred method of child raising that the Texas family court likes to see divorced parents adopt as it is so beneficial for the children involved.
Although it is the ideal situation, child custody lawyers often find that it will not work with high-conflict parents who are unable to work openly together about the raising of their children after the divorce is final.
In these circumstances, divorce lawyers may suggest parallel parenting, a form of co-parenting that can be more successful for high-conflict parents.
What Is Co-Parenting?
Co-parenting is an arrangement where both parents communicate freely and make collective decisions about the care and raising of their children.
It generally begins with the parents and their divorce attorneys coming up with an agreeable and somewhat flexible parenting plan to present to the family court for approval, then the two parents work together to benefit themselves and their children.
Co-parenting requires good communication and the willingness of both parents to put personal feelings aside and act on behalf of their children to provide and care for them as well as maintain healthy relationships with each other.
What Is Parallel Parenting?
Parallel parenting is similar to co-parenting except it’s based on keeping all communication formal, giving each parent the ability to make smaller decisions on their own, and making time exchanges in neutral spaces.
With parallel parenting, both parents will still make major decisions together; however, they’ll do so with the help of their divorce lawyers to reduce the possibility of fighting over any decisions.
Minor decisions are the responsibility of the individual parent in possession of the children at that time and major ones must be negotiated and documented, then signed by each parent.
Is Parallel Parenting A Good Option for Some Parents?
For parents who frequently disagree on minor parenting decisions, argue during time exchanges, or otherwise create friction that ultimately affects their parenting and children, parallel parenting offers a number of significant benefits to everyone involved by:
- Employing more positive methods of controlled communication without face-to-face contact.
- Reducing the level of conflict happening between homes which reduces stress on the children.
- Providing children with a greater level of confidence in their parents and home situation.
- Allowing children to benefit from co-parenting without having to witness the disagreements and negativity that can happen between high-conflict parents.
A Viable Option in High-Conflict Circumstances
When a traditional co-parenting arrangement has failed due to the parent’s inability to communicate and work together, child custody lawyers frequently recommend parallel parenting instead.
Designed to reduce contact between high-conflict co-parents so that all child raising can focus on the children, it’s an equally successful solution built around a slightly different plan.
Parents having a difficult time seeing eye-to-eye with their standard co-parenting agreement should meet with their divorce attorneys and discuss how parallel parenting can take the stress out of parenting and be more beneficial for the children.
Reynaldo Garza, III - Attorney at Law
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520