Divorce is difficult for multiple reasons, and often conflict with your ex-spouse is chief among them. It becomes even more complex when you are going through a highly contentious divorce and there are children involved.
It is very likely that you will be in a joint custody situation with your ex-spouse after you finalize your divorce. Particularly if you and your ex-spouse cannot have a conversation without an argument erupting, this may seem like a punishment. However, it is still possible to handle joint custody in highly contentious situations. According to Healthline, parallel parenting can assist with parenting through conflict.
What is it?
Parallel parenting is different from co-parenting in that it completely removes the contact that parents may have with each other. For example, in a “normal” co-parenting situation it is common for the parents to jointly host birthday parties or attend baseball games to support their child together.
With parallel parenting the parents are never together. This may mean the child gets multiple birthday parties. It may mean that one parent goes to support the child at the baseball game, and the second parent attends the social event that happens afterward. Throughout these exchanges, the parents do not have any contact other than exchanging custody of the child.
What are the benefits?
Joint custody is not meant to punish the parents. Rather, children are at their best when both parents are actively involved in their lives, even if the parents divorce. Parallel parenting allows the children to benefit from both parents’ involvement, but removes the children from the conflict between the parents.