Reinventing your life after a divorce is often one of the most challenging parts of the process. Particularly in the event that you and your ex-spouse have children, it is likely that you will be parenting them in a joint custody situation.
This can be challenging enough on its own, but if you and your ex-spouse are on very poor terms or if he or she suffers from a personality disorder it may seem like a punishment. In these situations, parallel parenting may be the best path forward. According to Healthline, parallel parenting is a way of managing joint custody that allows children access to both parents while keeping the children separated from the conflict.
Parallel vs co-parenting
In most co-parenting setups, the family will come together for certain events. For instance, it is not uncommon for divorced parents (and any new partners) to celebrate a child’s birthday together.
In parallel parenting, the parents are never in the same place at the same time. In a parallel parenting situation, it is possible for the child to have multiple separate birthday events.
The benefits of parallel parenting
Providing adequate separation between the parents can help lower the intensity in high-conflict divorces. The idea of joint custody is that having both parents involved in the life of the child is best for the child. Parallel parenting provides a way for the child to access both parents. It also allows both the child and parents to avoid arguments.
In certain circumstances, successful parallel parenting can evolve into a more traditional co-parenting situation over time. In others, permanent parallel parenting is the best way to manage joint custody in a positive manner.