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High-Conflict Divorce: Parallel Shared Parenting


All the world knows that there is nothing better for kids than having their parents under one roof. However, this is not always possible, especially when many married couples end up filling out divorce forms rather than salvaging their marriages.

When two people, who have kids in common, decide to end their marital relationships on paper and start looking for a divorce website, like, to resolve their situation, their kids like nobody else have a rough time. And to eliminate the negative effects of a breakup on the kids, parents must look for ways to bring up their kids effectively.

Unfortunately, far not all spouses remain on good terms. And those who have troubled relationships usually struggle to reach an understanding with each other. The conflicts that erupt in a family always carry consequences and kids, who happen to be the hostages of circumstances, often suffer a lot.

Those who find it difficult to reach an understanding with each other should think of parallel co-parenting as a good solution to their situation. This model puts kids’ interests first and thus is a perfect choice for partners for whom filing for divorce is inevitable.

How to apply the model

Once the process is finalized, it is time to think about how both mom and dad can be involved in their children’s life no matter whether or not they talk to each other. This parenting model is developed to help loving parents bring up their kids without the need to cultivate close links with each other. Some parents even claim that after some time of using this model, they get on track eventually. However, some utilize it for a long period and don’t think that something can be changed anytime soon as it is the only way they can reduce the triggers for fights and bend every effort to be good parents instead of settling disputes.

Those who believe that traditional parenting will only harm their kids, often stick to a parallel model. The latter is all about minimizing personal interaction between two people and is meant to reduce the damaging effects of separation. To apply one, ex-spouses should:

  • Get a mediator – This person will help them develop an effective parenting plan and fulfill it with the minimum number of personal meetings. Depending on parents’ preferences, this can be a counselor, child care professional, community worker, or church member who will help them moderate their negotiations.
  • Discuss all issues at large – All documentation should be arranged in a way that eliminates any misguided interpretation. So, parents should specify exact time frames and places for meetings with kids, available dispute resolution methods, etc.
  • Create a shared calendar – Downloading a relevant app on their smartphones to avoid any deviation from the plan will help exes reduce conflicts between them. Moreover, regular notifications will make it easier for them to stick to the settlement unless something unpredictable happens.
  • Meet only when there is a need to – Parents should avoid meeting each other in person. They should schedule a specific time for discussing anything regarding their kids, and it would be better if they use one of the many co-parenting apps for this. By communicating through writing, they can stand assured that nothing is missed.
  • Run their households individually – Both parties should understand that they are no longer in a position to influence each other’s decisions when their kids are with them. It is unacceptable that one parent sends dos and don’ts to a co-parent or tries to change his or her approach to parenting. Unless nothing threatens the kids, there is no way one parent can influence another.
  • Stay focused on the kids – Ex-spouses may think little of each other, but both of them love their kids. Any shadow of annoyance coming from one parent should be ignored by another one for the sake of their kids’ wellbeing. Of course, the desire to give your ex the taste of his or her medicine may be very strong; however, serving the interests of your kids should be top-of-mind for you.

A great benefit of this model is that it gives both exes time to cool off and get over a breakup easier. Unless they move on, their emotions run high; however, when the worst of the storm is over, their anger melts away.

Eventually, they wake up to find out that they can live a happy life again separately. With time, all the injuries become forgiven, and it may make sense to do the rethinking and decide on what is more beneficial for the kids’ well-being.

Regardless of what model you decide to stick to, it is crucial to look at your situation and how it may affect your kids objectively. It bears repeating that your children’s interest should come first whatever the outcome of your case.