Not every couple who breaks up can immediately transition to being co-parents. If you and your estranged spouse are having difficulty parenting your kids across two homes, then “co-parenting” may not be the right choice for you or your kids right now.
Co-parenting requires regular communication of some type with your ex. Even if you limit it to texts and emails, it can still be fraught with bitterness and anger. Children are often the ones who suffer the most when this happens.
How does parallel parenting work?
That’s why some parents choose parallel parenting for a time. Essentially, that means that each parent cares for the child independently during their time with them. Parents don’t consult or communicate with each other unless it’s necessary. These exceptions should be detailed in your parenting plan.
Parallel parenting can only work if estranged couples trust each other to be responsible parents. You can despise your ex for everything they did or didn’t do during your marriage or for how they’re handling the divorce but still acknowledge that they’re a good parent.
By significantly minimizing the interaction between divorcing couples, parallel parenting can give them the time and distance they need to heal. While parallel parenting looks different for every family, establishing and respecting boundaries is key.
Parallel parenting often transitions to co-parenting
Typically, parallel parenting is not a permanent arrangement. Many parents are able to move into a true co-parenting arrangement after the divorce is behind them and they’ve had some time apart.
If you decide that parallel parenting is the best choice for your family for the time being, you need to establish a parallel parenting plan that both of you can follow. Having sound legal guidance as you do this is crucial.