Mastering Parallel Parenting

Divorce is a traumatic experience in anyone’s life as it symbolizes the end of a lifelong commitment two people made to each other. Generally, people do not enter into the institution of marriage lightly, so when it comes to an end, there is inevitable grief to process, especially if the end was triggered by a negative event or the members of the relationship now harbor hostile feelings toward each other. When there are children involved, the trauma may be intensified as a clean break is impossible and both parties that were once a couple must continue to foster a relationship that allows them to mutually raise their children. In today’s post, we will discuss some ways you and your former spouse can resolve your issues surrounding your divorce and master parallel parenting.

What is Parallel Parenting?

Parallel parenting is the process where divorced parents are able to co-parent without extensive direct contact with each other. It is particularly useful for former couples who are not able to communicate respectfully but are both highly involved in their children’s lives. Parallel parenting plans allow parents to disengage from each other but remain fully connected to their children. Sometimes parallel parenting plans are legally facilitated through the allocation of parental responsibilities plans and custody negotiations. As time passes and family dynamics change, parallel parenting can evolve into cooperative parenting plans or co-parenting solutions.

What Aspects Facilitate a Successful Plan?

A well-laid plan can help facilitate improved relationships and reduce stress for all parties involved. The key thing to keep in mind is that children deserve relationships with both parents.

Clearly determine how time will be split.

There should be no question of where the children will be at any given point in time and routines should be established. Clearly establish where the children will be during special events, holidays, birthdays, vacations, school, and everyday life. Determine the start and end times and dates for shared physical custody and pick-up and drop-off times. Since the goal is to limit contact and communication between parents, a detailed schedule will help reduce confusion, anger, and the need to contact each other.

Use an online parenting app.

Put technology to good use. Rather than needed to talk regularly, each parent can pass along pertinent information and update calendars with online app platforms that allow you to share schedules, expense reporting, and other vital information.

Enlist the support of a legal mediator.

An established coordinator or family law mediator can assist in high conflict cases as well as cooperative cases, and everything in between. A mediator can help by ensuring communication is kept unemotional and business-like and that conflicts are handled matter-of-factly, emotions set aside. Mediators help settle conflicts and offer solutions that align with parenting plans and have the child’s best interest at heart.


Putting in the effort to master parallel parenting can have dramatic positive effects on the entire family dynamic and reduce the trauma and stress caused by divorce involving children. When parents choose not to be in each other’s lives, there has to be some form of cooperation to successfully rear children who feel loved by both parents. Parallel parenting plans can help. Enlist the help of the divorce and child custody legal expert at the Law Offices of Kelli J. Malcolm by contacting me today.