Most parents who share custody of their children following divorce find a way to co-parent them because it’s in the kids’ best interests. However, that’s not a point that all parents can get to – at least not right away.
If you and your co-parent aren’t able to have to communicate without an argument breaking out and have difficulty even being in the same room together, parallel parenting might be the best option for everyone involved – particularly your kids.
How does parallel parenting work?
Typically with parallel parenting, former couples each parent their children separately, with little communication or interaction with the other parent. That generally involves each parent making routine decisions for their kids based on what they think is best. However, larger decisions, like those involving where they go to school or what kind of medical care they should receive are still made jointly. Any necessary communication is done in writing or via co-parenting apps where information can be made available in a shared space without direct communication.
Of course, parallel parenting only works if both people are capable parents. It’s not right for families where one parent could be a danger to their children’s health, safety or well-being.
Parallel parenting often involves having a third party handle children’s transitions between homes or at least having a neutral site. They often make a point not to attend the same family or child-related events (or to keep their distance if they do).
If you and your spouse (or perhaps a judge) determine that parallel parenting is best for your children, at least for the foreseeable future, you’ll need to work out a parallel parenting agreement that sets clear ground rules that will minimize further conflict.
Some time spent parallel parenting can lead to a healthier co-parenting relationship
Parallel parenting can give parents some time away from one another that often helps them cool down. They can learn to put their resentments about the marriage aside to eventually have a healthy co-parenting relationship.
If you think parallel parenting would be in your children’s best interests, it’s important to learn more about it. Having experienced legal guidance through your divorce and custody proceedings can help ensure that you work toward an arrangement that will minimize anxiety and uncertainty for your children.