9.7Susan M. Hais

There are myriad benefits for a child that has both parents in their life. Even if those parents get divorced, by engaging in co-parenting, both parents continue to support their child to the fullest. However, co-parenting is only truly a good option if both parents can at least be amicable. It doesn’t matter if the child gets to spend time with both parents if they are constantly fighting in front of that child or fostering a situation in which the child thinks they need to prefer one parent to please one or both sides. However, for those who did end a high conflict relationship and still want to co-parent, there are still some options.

Typically if you come from a high conflict relationship where it is clear you cannot communicate in a respectful manner, you can still co-parent through a technique called parallel parenting. In this situation, there are five crucial rules to making it work for the benefit of your child. The rules of parallel parenting include:

  • Any and all communication is conducted in a very business-like manner, similar to how you would talk to a co-worker you don’t like but have to see every day. The conversation should be purely informative with information relevant to your child’s care.
  • A child will never be used as a messenger. This may reduce conflict between the parents, but places great strain on the child.
  • Changes in schedule will not be made without a prior written agreement. Parents may want to see their child, but a number of conflicts spring up when the other parent suddenly needs to drop the child off.
  • No personal information is shared with the other parent to keep conflict to a minimum.
  • Parenting schedules should be shared via a calendar or in writing, rather than told in a face-to-face manner.

In this way, the high conflict parents remain majorly disengaged and rarely do parents have to have a face-to-face conversation that can lead to fights. If you are going through a high conflict divorce and are worried about how it might affect your custody and relationship with your children, contact us today.