Getting divorced can be a difficult process, but many people find that rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of divorce is even more challenging. This is particularly so if you will hold your children in joint custody with your ex-spouse. There are many logistical considerations to keep in mind surrounding this issue on its own, but if you are on very poor terms with your ex-spouse the situation may seem impossible.
This is where parallel parenting comes in. According to Healthline, parallel parenting allows high-conflict families to manage joint custody in a way that is beneficial for both children and parents.
Is this different from co-parenting?
Yes. Co-parenting typically involves the family coming together at certain points. For instance, the family may celebrate certain holidays together, or throw joint birthdays for the children. Sometimes, in a co-parenting situation, both parents (and new partners if applicable) will show up to support a child at a dance recital or sporting event.
In parallel parenting, the parents are never together at the same time. This means that the child may celebrate multiple holidays or even have multiple birthday events. One parent may show up to show support at the dance recital, and the other parent may take the child to the pizza party after.
How does this help?
Parallel parenting gives children access to both parents, which is the point of joint custody. It also allows the parents to maintain space between each other so as to avoid arguments. In some situations, parallel parenting can go on indefinitely. In other situations, a successful spate of parallel parenting can evolve into a more traditional co-parenting situation.