What is Parallel Parenting and is it Right for You?

February 17, 2023

Divorce is difficult, and finding ways to co-parent with your ex-spouse can be even harder, especially if constant communication leads to arguments. Parallel parenting might be a good solution. In parallel parenting, divorced parents limit their communication with each other, instead focusing on making decisions about their children independently. This helps to reduce conflict and provides stability for the kids.

Is parallel parenting a good fit for you? Consider these factors:

  • Can you communicate with your ex…even a little? You will have some communication for major decisions about your children. If you and your ex cannot manage that, it’s likely not a workable option.
  • Do you parent in different styles? It’s essential that both parents understand and accept there will be differences in rules and routines in each home. Consistency within each household is what matters!
  • Can you prioritize your children’s needs above your emotions? Can accept that you are both putting your children’s needs first? And can you accept that you will have to work with a difficult ex-spouse? If you can agree to both, and so can your ex-spouse, it might be a consideration.

Benefits of Parallel Parenting

  • Reduced conflict for both parents and children. Less fighting means happier homes for everyone.
  • Provides stability for children. Kids thrive with predictable routines. Well-drafted plans reduce disruption due to parental disagreements.
  • Teaches constructive conflict management. Children model their parents, and such a plan teaches them how to work through difficult situations.
  • Frees up your time and energy. Parallel parenting allows you to focus on positive activities and relationships rather than constantly managing disagreements with your ex.

Drawbacks to Consider

  • Potential for miscommunication. Since there’s less direct contact, there’s a higher risk of misunderstandings.
  • Challenges for children. Kids might feel conflicted by different house rules or a sense that their parents are at odds.
  • Communication tools needed: Parallel parenting works best when the parents use a communication tool that prevents deletion of messages and does not allow the parents to text or force them to talk face-to-face. But these tools are not free and most have a monthly or yearly cost for both parents.

If parallel parenting sounds like a solution for your family, it’s important to get professional help with setting up a clear plan. A family lawyer can help you navigate decisions and create a detailed parenting agreement.

If you want to read more about parallel parenting, I suggest looking at this article published on Our Family Wizard, which is an app that some parents use to help them parent.


If you have reached a place where you can agree on your parenting times and the parenting styles you will both employ in the future, I would be happy to help make it official. Call my office at 618-726-2671 or reach out through my website.

Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and should not be taken as legal advice. Readers are advised to seek independent legal counsel for any legal matters.