Local | Respected | Fearless

What is parallel parenting?

| May 10, 2021 | Divorce |

Divorce is difficult, but figuring out your way forward as a family after words can be even more challenging. This is particularly true if you and your spouse have a very poor relationship or if your ex-spouse is a narcissist. 

In these particularly fraught family situations, co-parenting may seem more like a punishment than a decision the courts make to benefit children. In these situations, an alternative solution may be necessary. According to Healthline, parallel parenting is an effective way for families to reap the benefits of joint custody without creating additional conflict.  

What makes parallel parenting different?

Co-parenting typically involves the parents working together to raise the children, even though they have divorced and no longer living in a family home. For instance, it is common for families in a co-parenting situation to come together and host a holiday or birthday party. It is also possible that parents in a co-parenting relationship will attend a child’s sporting events or music recitals together. 

With parallel parenting, the parents are never in the same place at the same time. Families in a parallel parenting situation may choose to host separate holiday or birthday events. It is also possible that one parent will attend the sporting event or music recital while the other parent attends the post-event pizza party.  

How does parallel parenting help?

Joint custody is not meant to be a punishment for the parents. Rather, children do best with both parents involved in their lives. Parallel parenting allows a way for families to enjoy the benefits of joint custody while ensuring that the children are not exposed to unnecessary conflict.