Even if divorced parents get along, co-parenting has many challenges associated with it. For families with high levels of conflict, however, “traditional” co-parenting may be impossible.
Fortunately, there is more than one way to manage joint custody. According to Healthline, many high-conflict families find that a parallel parenting agreement suits their needs much better than traditional co-parenting.
What differentiates parallel parenting?
In the majority of co-parenting situations, the divorced parents work together closely to raise their child. For example, it is likely that the family will come together to celebrate the child’s birthday. It is also probable that they will celebrate major holidays together and attend events like sports games and dance recitals together.
With a parallel parenting agreement, the parents are never in the same place together at the same time. Instead, the parents handle joint custody by working together by means of separate actions. For instance, instead of both parents coming to a sporting event, one parent may attend the event itself while the other parent attends the ice cream social following the game.
How long does it last?
In some instances, parallel parenting is a permanent arrangement. Particularly in situations when one parent has a personality disorder like narcissism, the separation parallel parenting provides may be necessary permanently.
In others, a period of adherence to parallel parenting may lead into a more common co-parenting arrangement. In many situations, the feelings of anger the parents have toward each other and surrounding the divorce may dissipate with the passage of time. It all depends on the needs of the parents and the child.