If you and your ex-spouse have children together, it is common to be dealing with a joint custody situation after divorce. While this arrangement is common, it does not mean that it is easy. Particularly if you and your ex-spouse have a highly acrimonious relationship or if he or she is a narcissist, continuing to need to parent with him or her may seem punishing.
In many situations, parallel parenting is a superior choice to co-parenting. According to Healthline, parallel parenting is a form of joint custody that allows the child access to both parents while maintaining maximum distance between the parents themselves.
What makes parallel parenting different?
In the typical co-parenting relationship, there is still a lot of contact between the parents. For instance, it is possible that both parents may decide to jointly throw their child a birthday party or celebrate the end-of-year holidays together. They may also attend sporting or theatrical events together in support of their child.
With parallel parenting, this does not happen. Instead, it is possible that the child may have two separate birthday events. One parent may attend the dance recital, and then the other parent attends the post-recital ice cream social. The child still sees both parents, but the parents do not see each other.
How long does it last?
How long a parallel parenting situation lasts depends upon the needs of the family. In some cases, a long enough period of successful parallel parenting may be able to transition into a traditional co-parenting relationship over time. However, in other situations, the parallel parenting situation stays in place until the child grows up.