How Does a Parallel Parenting Plan Help in High Conflict Child Custody Cases?

“A parallel parenting plan does not mean hope for co-parenting and communication is over. In fact, the exact opposite may occur.

Think about it logically for a moment – if the parents are not required to constantly communicate with each other and co-parent, they will stop getting on each other’s nerves. They will have some peace from each other while they continue to raise their children in a conflict-free environment.”

The Long Term Effects of Parental Alienation


Parallel parenting is a term used more and more in California divorce and child custody cases. It bridges the gap between the ideal low to no conflict cases and, in the other extreme, very high conflict ones. The latter leaves very little room for effective communication and co-parenting – enter the parallel parenting plan.

The high conflict cases of which we speak are not just those where the parents have trouble getting along. We are talking about one or both parent’s narcissistic or borderline personality or hostility that make co-parenting all but impossible. This includes situations where:

  • one or both parents still harbor resentment toward the another due to the breakup or separation and that affects communication and the willingness to co-parent;
  • one or both parents do not respect the other parent’s role and refuse to work with the other;
  • one or both parents have related emotional…

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