Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162



Parenting in a High Conflict Divorce – Examining the Potential Benefits of Parallel Parenting

 Posted on March 29, 2017 in Family Law

Oak Park family law attorneyMost divorce information sources highlight the benefits of cooperative parenting, but this model is not right for every family. In fact, some parents and children may benefit more from the parallel parenting model. The following outlines the parallel parenting model and explains what it is, when it may be the most appropriate solution, and how parents can make it work for their family.

What is Parallel Parenting?

Like cooperative parenting, the overall goal of parallel parenting is to ensure the child has a close and healthy relationship with each parent, but the method by which parallel parents reach their goal is nearly the opposite to that of cooperative parents. One of the biggest differences is the level and type of interaction between parents; cooperative parenting encourages active communication, but parallel parenting strives to reduce contention by minimizing contact. It essentially encourages each parent to work on their relationship with the child, rather than their relationship with one another.

Is Parallel Parenting Right for Your Family?

Parallel parenting is most often used in situations of high parental conflict. Examples might include relationships with an element of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. However, even non-abusive relationships can become contentious situations. Some become turbulent because of financial matters. Others may turn bitter because of disagreements over parenting styles, schedules, or decision-making ability. Whatever the situation, parallel parenting offers an alternative for those who struggle with cooperative parenting.

Making Parallel Parenting Work for Your Family

Because parallel parenting limits the contact between parties, parents will need some strategies to ensure they are effectively communicating with one another about the child and their needs, but not increasing their risk of a contentious situation. Some ideas for doing this might include:

  • A notebook that goes with the child to each home where each parent can note any important details, such as upcoming events pertaining only to the child (i.e. parent-teacher conferences, sports games, doctor’s appointments, etc.);
  • Ignoring any parenting advice from the other parent and, instead, focusing on parenting in the way that works best for you;
  • Creating and maintaining a schedule that takes everyone’s commitments into account;
  • Creating and maintaining healthy boundaries in your personal life (i.e. not discussing the past, present, or even future goals or aspirations with your ex-spouse);
  • Keeping communications in writing and always focused on the child; and,
  • Disengaging from any form of conflict, even if it is in writing.

Contact Our Hillside, IL Family Law Attorneys

Due to the nature of parallel parenting, and the reason for it being used, it is highly encouraged that parents seek experienced legal assistance when developing their parenting plan. The Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. provides compassionate and comprehensive services to clients throughout the Oak Park area. Schedule a consultation with our Hillside, IL family law attorney to learn more about how we can assist with your case. Call 708-449-7400 today.


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