Parallel Parenting: Fad or The New Wave of Shared Parenting?


I recently worked with a client who was divorcing a husband who is an alleged domestic abuser. She was working with an advocate who suggested the concept of parallel parenting in an attempt to try to settle the divorce and all parenting issues amicably. She asked if I had heard of the concept, which I had not, and I had already started to write off the concept in my head as some “fad”. However, the more she talked, the more it made sense. The idea of parallel parenting revolves around the fact that the parties should communicate as little as possible. This concept is imperative in a relationship with domestic violence, because an abuser will always try to use their “veto” power in a shared parenting plan to maintain control over their victim. Typical shared parenting plans require that the parties confer with one another on all major issues affecting the minor child and that they must agree, but if one party never agrees they always retain control over the other party. In a parallel parenting agreement each party has total control over a certain number of different issues. For example, the mother may have total decision making power over education and extracurricular activities and the father may have total control over all health related issues and religious practices. The beauty of this arrangement is that the parties never have to concur about any issue-each party has total freedom and control over their respective issues in the child’s life and there is less strife for everyone involved. This concept need not only apply to parties where domestic violence is an issue, but in any situation where the parties just can’t seem to communicate effectively.

If you have all issues ironed out in the termination of your marriage except for those involving parenting issues, we may be able to help you and your spouse come to an effective and affordable resolution. Call today for a consultation.

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