The divorce process is stressful enough on its own, but co-parenting with a hostile ex-spouse in the aftermath may seem impossible. Joint custody is usually in the best interest of the child, but it can be a major challenge for feuding parents to handle.
While joint custody might be the court-mandated situation, a traditional co-parenting arrangement is not. According to Healthline, parallel parenting is an effective alternative to co-parenting that can help hostile exes manage joint custody effectively.
What makes parallel parenting different?
Parallel parenting minimizes contact between you and your ex. An example of this would be celebrating holiday traditions. In a co-parenting situation, it is possible that a divorced couple may come together for major holidays to celebrate with their children. They may even bring their new partners for a whole-family celebration.
With parallel parenting, the family celebrates holidays separately. It is possible that one parent will have the child for his or her birthday, and the other for the major end-of-year holidays. Alternatively, the family may hold multiple birthday or holiday celebrations that the child attends.
Does parallel parenting last forever?
In some cases, parallel parenting is a permanent arrangement. However, it does not have to be. Some families find after a period of successful parallel parenting that it is easier to transition into a “traditional” co-parenting arrangement.
Just like there is more than one way to handle the divorce process, there is more than one way to handle joint custody. For some families, parallel parenting is the best way for the child to benefit from joint custody.