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Tampa Family Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > What Is Parallel Parenting In Florida?

What Is Parallel Parenting In Florida?


Parallel parenting is an option for divorcees who cannot communicate without animosity. While you may be separated during your divorce, you will be connected to your co-parent for the rest of your life through your children. Parallel parenting affords you the option of minimizing interactions between you and your soon-to-be former spouse. It is a highly structured option for parents who cannot amicably communicate or be around one another. In this article, the Tampa, FL divorce lawyers at Faulkner Law Group, PLLC will discuss aspects of parallel parenting and when it might be a good option for you.

Co-parenting versus parallel parenting 

Co-parenting is different from parallel parenting in a variety of ways. Although both rely on a timesharing agreement, parallel parenting does not require that the parents interact with each other very often. Co-parenting generally does. Co-parenting involves the parents communicating with each other on a regular basis in relation to the child’s schedule, expenses, health, and academics. It also involves the parents potentially being together during birthdays, school functions, and extracurricular activities. Both parents have the opportunity to voice concerns directly to the other parent. Decisions involving the children are made together as opposed to unilaterally.

Parallel parenting is a newer type of arrangement that evolved to cover circumstances in which former spouses could not stand the sight of one another. This method attempts to minimize interactions between the spouses and avoid conflict that would arise if they shared space. It is by no means ideal, but reducing conflict related to the parents is generally understood to be in the best interests of the children.

Instead of both parents having to come together to reach decisions related to the children, decision-making would be split between the two parents. In other words, one parent may have the final say when it comes to healthcare choices, while the other parent would have the final say on educational choices. This helps reduce interactions between the parents.

Elements of a parallel parenting plan in Tampa, FL 

  • Decision-making rules are set in the parenting plan – Who has the specific power to make key decisions related to the children’s education, healthcare, and religion are established in the parenting plan.
  • Direct communication between the parents is limited – The parents will establish one way to communicate with one another. Often, this involves a written method such as email or through a co-parenting app. In-person meetings are avoided.
  • Drop-off and pick-up locations are specified – Both parents will have to agree to a drop-off or pick-up location and time. These will be specified in the parenting plan. There should also be a means to indicate how cancellations and delays are handled.
  • Protocols for conflicts – A plan is required to avoid further litigation or having the courts decide key matters when the parents are in conflict. This can include mediation or collaborative procedures.
  • Parenting coordinators – A parenting coordinator may be required to help facilitate communication between the two parents. The parenting coordinator resolves disputes and ensures compliance with the parenting plan.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Family Lawyer Today 

The Faulkner Law Group, PLLC represents the interests of Tampa residents undergoing divorce. Call today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your concerns today.

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