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Parallel Parenting And Sharing Custody In Florida


For some parents, they find the best approach to shared custody is the concept of parallel parenting. Over recent years, parallel parenting has gained popularity, particularly when parents are in high-conflict situations.

To explore the elements of parallel parenting and determine if it could work for you, connect with a Tampa family lawyer. Skilled attorneys are available to shed light on how parallel parenting approaches can provide stability and support to families facing difficult circumstances.

Understanding Elements of Parallel Parenting

Parallel parenting is a highly structured approach to sharing custody of children. Basically, when two parents engage in parallel parenting, they are doing so with a goal of minimizing direct contact between the parents while ensuring the children’s well-being remains a top priority.

  • Well-defined parenting plan. A clear parenting plan is the cornerstone to a successful parallel parenting arrangement. When the responsibilities and schedules of each parent are outlined clearly, there is little room for dispute, which reduces the potential of future conflict.
  • Direct communication is limited. Depending on the needs and desires of the adults, communication only happens through an agreed upon method. Often parents choose written methods, such as email or a dedicated co-parenting app. Refraining from in-person meetings and phone calls reduces confrontations and emotional strain.
  • Drop-off and pick-up arrangements are specific. Both parents need to agree to specific details about drop-off and pick-up locations and times. There should also be a plan for how cancellations or delays will be communicated and handled.
  • Decision-making rules are set. In parallel parenting, each parent is responsible for making decisions during their respective parenting time, but how major decisions are handled, such as those related to education, healthcare, or religion, should be outlined in the parenting plan. For example, a parenting plan should contain information on if one or both parents will be involved in educational decisions, such as attending public or private school.
  • Use of parenting coordinators. Appointed by the court or agreed upon by the parents, parenting coordinators play a role in some Florida parallel parenting cases. These professionals work to facilitate communication, resolve disputes, and ensure compliance with an agreed upon parenting plan.
  • Protocols for conflict resolution. There needs to be a plan in place for resolving disagreements without resorting to litigation, such as mediation or another dispute resolution process.

When parallel parenting works, it can be a great way to share custody when parents no longer get along. Parallel parenting provides stability by ensuring that each parent’s time with the children is consistent and clearly defined.

Talk to an Attorney About Different Approaches to Sharing Custody

Were you hoping you and your ex-spouse could communicate about custody concerns but every conversation becomes an argument? Sharing custody can be complicated when communication is difficult, but parallel parenting allows parents to focus on what’s best for the children and shield them from the emotional turmoil of ongoing parental disputes. To learn more, connect with the seasoned legal team at Blair H. Chan, III. Call 813-202-7831 to schedule a consultation.

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