What is parallel parenting?

In the event that you are going through a divorce and have children with your ex-spouse, it is highly likely that you will hold them in joint custody. In the majority of cases, the courts find that joint custody is in the best interest of the children.

However, this does not make the prospect of co-parenting easy. Particularly if you and your ex-spouse have a very contentious relationship or if your ex is a narcissist, the idea of parenting with him or her may seem like a personal punishment. However, there are multiple ways to manage joint custody. According to Healthline, parallel parenting is a good alternative to traditional co-parenting for high-conflict post-divorce families.

What is it?

Parallel parenting establishes greater distance between the ex-spouses when caring for their children in joint custody. For instance, in more “traditional” co-parenting setups, it is not uncommon for the family to come together at certain instances. For instance, the parents may decide to throw a single birthday party for the child and attend together.

With parallel parenting, this would not happen. A family engaging in parallel parenting may decide to throw two completely separate birthday events for the child.

How long does this last?

In certain circumstances, particularly if one parent suffers from a personality disorder, parallel parenting is a permanent arrangement. In other situations, it is possible for a period of successful parallel parenting to graduate into a more traditional co-parenting situation. There is more than one way to handle joint custody, and parallel parenting allows the children to benefit from the presence of both parents while shielding them from conflict.