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High Conflict Divorce: When Co-Parenting Doesn’t Work, Try Parallel Parenting

high conflict divorce hurts kidsCo-parenting, viewed by therapists and family law professionals as the gold standard for post-divorce parenting, works when both parents are willing and able to set aside their personal grievances and support their child’s relationship with the other parent. To do this, both parents need to be able to communicate calmly, follow the conditions of the custody and child support order, and agree on a plethora of child-related issues such as medical care, education, religious training, and discipline.

Negotiating child rearing is a tall order, even for two people who love each other. It’s an even taller order for two reasonably well-adjusted people whose irreconcilable differences have led them to end their marriage. But if both people are determined to keep their children off the battleground of their divorce, they can usually learn the skills necessary to become successful co-parents.

High-conflict personalities, however, frequently lack the motivation to co-parent because, by definition, they are unable to work through their anger at the other party. Read more