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What is parallel parenting? And does it work?

We have previously written that joint custody is becoming much more common these days. Family law judges strive to keep both parents involved in a child's life whenever possible, and that may mean a co-parenting arrangement will need to be worked out.

Naturally, what is often best for children (joint custody) is usually not what mom or dad would prefer. Nonetheless, most exes can manage to get along well enough to co-parent successfully. But what about exes who just can't stop arguing? Is co-parenting simply not a possibility?

According to Licensed Clinical Social Worker Terry Gaspard, there may actually be a way to bridge this divide. In a recent Huffington Post article, Gaspard discusses the concept of "parallel parenting." In short, exes who become parallel parents work out a parenting plan early on and then limit direct contact with one another.

Each parent would handle the day-to-day basics when the child was with them. That way, they could stay largely disengaged from the other parent. Major decisions like education and healthcare would need to be worked out ahead of time or be the exception to the limited-communication rule.

If parallel parenting sounds very difficult to you, that instinct is probably correct. But if regular co-parenting is not an option and if your child needs and wants to have both parents in his or her life, parallel parenting may be the solution.

No matter what your child custody needs are, you should have a dedicated legal advocate on your side. Please discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney.

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