For many divorcing couples in Florida, co-parenting effectively is all but impossible. This is especially true when conflict is high, which can make it challenging for parents to come together to make important decisions on behalf of their kids. Parallel parenting is another option for exes who can’t see eye to eye, as explained by Psychology Today.

How does parallel parenting work?

Co-parenting involves former spouses working in conjunction to raise their children while living separately. The goal of parallel parenting is the same, but this parenting approach entails a level of disengagement intended on keeping conflict to a minimum. For instance, if you feel uncomfortable speaking with your ex in person you can communicate via email or text. You can also agree on a manner of approach, such as keeping conversations relegated to child-rearing alone and insisting that both parties address the other civilly.

What are the benefits?

The main benefit of parallel parenting is that both parents can play an active role in the life of their children. Most courts agree that it’s in the best interest of the child to have both parents involved in child-rearing, regardless of their status. Parallel parenting can also reduce quite a bit of stress. If your divorce was particularly contentious, you may be reassured by the space between you and your former partner. In some cases, this process can even lead to a traditional co-parenting relationship after so long.

What should I be aware of?

While parallel parenting can be extremely beneficial for many families, it may not work in all cases. Keep in mind that if domestic violence was an issue within your marriage, maintaining distance from your ex may be in the best interest of both you and your children. If there is a safety guidance put in place by the court it should be respected, and any proposed alterations should be brought before the judge to ensure everyone is in compliance.