Those who suffered through a high-conflict marriage feel relieved once their divorce is over. However, if you have children with your ex, do not expect all of your conflict to end. Sharing kids usually means that you will still have to deal with your ex to some degree.

However, traditional co-parenting plans may not work in high-conflict situations. Many co-parents in Massachusetts have found that parallel parenting is an effective way to minimize conflict that can be harmful to their children.

With parallel parenting, parents have only limited contact with one another. Rather than talking and meeting face-to-face, they communicate only when absolutely necessary and usually through emails and text messages.

A few best practices for effective parallel parenting include the following.

  • Staying out of each other’s style of parenting, regardless of how you feel about it
  • Exchanging custody in public places only
  • Understanding that you may each have different rules and expectations for your kids
  • Adhering closely to prearranged custody and visitation schedules

While parallel parenting may not work in all high-conflict situations, it can offer many benefits to children of divorce. For example, reducing conflict between you and your ex reduces stress and anxiety in your children. This method of parenting may also help both parents build a stronger relationship with their kids.

If you feel that parallel parenting may be right for you and your kids, consider speaking with your attorney about how to set up a parallel parenting arrangement. Your attorney can also help you determine if you, your ex and your children are good candidates for this form of parenting.