Most evidence shows that children of divorced parents thrive when the parents have joint custody. When you think of joint custody, your first thought may be co-parenting. While co-parenting has benefits, it is not a system that works for every couple. Co-parenting requires parents to work closely and communicate consistently to raise their children.
Parallel parenting allows you to live a more separate life from your former spouse. Determining whether parallel parenting works for you requires looking at your current relationship with your spouse.
What does your relationship with your ex look like?
It is normal to have a lot of heated, conflicting emotions following a divorce. If you and your ex tend to argue or become upset in each other’s presence, keeping the children away from it is better. Marriages with high amounts of conflict tend to do better as parallel parents.
How does a parallel parenting relationship work?
In parallel parenting, you limit your in-person communication with your ex. The two of you try to interact as little as possible but maintain strong relationships with your children. Regarding parenting responsibilities, the two of you should focus on your day-to-day responsibilities. You and your ex will spend your parenting time how you see fit without interference from the other.
Sometimes parents assign different responsibilities to one another. For example, you may attend school-related meetings whereas your spouse attends doctor’s appointments or vice versa.
All relationships can change over time. Some parents can function under parallel parenting and become stronger co-parents in the future. Everyone’s parenting journey is different and you have the right to choose the system that works for you.