Even couples who end divorce on reasonably good terms often struggle with joint custody in the aftermath. If you happen to be on extremely poor terms with your ex-spouse, if or your ex-spouse has narcissistic tendencies or other personality disorders, creating a functioning co-parenting plan with them can be essentially impossible.
This is where the alternative to co-parenting, parallel parenting, comes in. According to Healthline, a parallel parenting situation involves allowing the children as much access to both parents as co-parenting does, but with a greater deal of separation between the parents.
The difference from co-parenting
In a normal co-parenting arrangement, often both parents will come together in public to show support for their children. A common example would be both parents attending a child’s baseball game and sitting together in the bleachers, even though they are no longer a couple. It is possible that the parents may even bring their new partners to the game.
With parallel parenting, only one parent would be present at the game itself. It is possible that the other parent may take over for the postgame celebration. It is also possible that one parent will be in charge of everything having to do with a child’s sporting events, while the other parent is in charge of music lessons or other activities.
The benefits of parallel parenting
The goal of joint custody is to act in the best interest of the child. This does not mean that you have to pretend that everything is perfect with your ex-spouse. Parallel parenting will allow you to get the space you need from your ex-spouse while effectively parenting your children with him or her.