You may have ended your marriage to your ex-spouse, but if you have children with him or her you are partners for life. Unless there is a history of substance abuse or violence in your household, it is likely you will have joint custody of any children.
Depending on how acrimonious your relationship is with your ex-spouse, a co-parenting situation may not be tenable. According to Healthline, divorced parents with high amounts of conflict between them and children to raise may benefit from the separation parallel parenting provides.
Are parallel parenting and co-parenting the same?
Parallel parenting and co-parenting have some things in common but they are different concepts. With a co-parenting situation, the entire family will still put on a united front even if the parents divorce. For example, both parents might come to watch a child’s baseball game together. They may not sit together and they may bring a new significant other with them, but both parents are able to be around each other and be civil for the game.
With a parallel parenting situation, only one parent would come to the game. The other parent may come to attend the post-game pizza party to show support. However, parallel parenting means that the parents are almost never in the same place at the same time for very long.
How is this beneficial?
Parallel parenting is beneficial for children since it gives the children equal access to both of their parents but shields them from conflict. Parallel parenting is beneficial for the children since it allows them adequate separation from their ex-spouse.
Additionally, after enough time spent parallel parenting, it is possible that the situation may improve enough to allow a more traditional co-parenting dynamic to emerge.