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Houston, Texas
(713) 364-0170

Austin, Texas
(512) 518-1584

Advocating For You

Parallel parenting after a high conflict divorce

Children who have both parents actively involved in their lives often feel safer and more secure than those who do not. However, if you went through a Texas divorce and now have an ex you cannot even be in the same room with, co-parenting may not be a feasible option for either of you.

According to Psychology Today, parallel parenting is the opposite of co-parenting. Your children live in parallel households, giving them a sense of security, minus the tense atmosphere that occurs when you and your ex get together.

Benefits of parallel parenting

A contentious homelife can negatively impact your children. Parallel parenting enables each parent to use their own parenting style without explaining or checking in with the other. This can help minimize the tension and help ease the transition to living separately rather than as a couple.

If you cannot have a conversation with your spouse without it becoming an argument, parallel parenting may be the right option for you. You rarely must communicate with your ex, and when you do, it can be via text or email. The lack of direct interaction can keep emotional outbursts to a minimum.

Tips for keeping your distances

Dealing with a manipulative ex is often emotionally, mentally and physically draining. However, parallel parenting makes keeping your distance easier than other options. Steps you can take that help you maintain distance include the following:

  • Set boundaries and stick to them, which may mean not responding to a deluge of texts or emails
  • Disengage from the conflict and focus on taking a mental step back
  • Talk with your children if your ex lies or bad-mouths you to them to remove some of their stress
  • Accept that you cannot change your ex and concentrate on your own reactions and choices

Although these techniques work, they require focus and practice. Keeping an emotional and physical distance from the other parent can help you avoid conflict, maintain custody and peace of mind.