Can parallel parenting make joint custody easier?

It is highly likely that there is some amount of hard feelings between yourself and your ex-spouse. A level of conflict between ex-spouses is very normal, particularly in the direct aftermath of a divorce.

However, if you and your ex-spouse have children together it is even more likely that you are in a joint custody situation. Particularly if you and your ex-spouse cannot have a conversation without an argument, the idea of parenting jointly with him or her may seem like an impossibility. This is where parallel parenting can be the solution.

Parallel parenting and co-parenting

Parallel parenting and co-parenting are distinct approaches to managing joint custody. In a traditional co-parenting environment, the parents will come together for certain family events. For instance, it is likely that divorced parents will both attend major events like graduations or birthday parties together. The parents may even bring their new partners to these events if they exist.

With parallel parenting, the parents are never in the same place at the same time. One parent may attend graduation, and the other may host a graduation party separately. Parents may also elect to host separate birthday parties.

Parenting together, yet separately

Parallel parenting gives you the space you need from your ex-spouse. It also helps to protect your child from the conflict between you and your ex. Remember that joint custody is not to punish the parents, but rather for the benefit of the child. Parallel parenting allows the child access to both parents and removes the conflict. Particularly if your ex suffers from personality disorders, parallel parenting may be the only feasible way to manage joint custody.