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What is parallel parenting?

Divorce is hard enough on its own, but if you have children the situation often becomes eminently more complex. Particularly if your ex-spouse is a narcissist or has some other combative personality disorder, the idea of moving forward in a joint custody situation with him or her may seem like an impossibility.

In situations where traditional co-parenting will not work, a parallel parenting arrangement may be preferable. As per Healthline, parallel parenting is a form of joint custody that involves the parents never being together at the same time.

The differences between parallel and co-parenting

In a traditional co-parenting situation, it is likely that both parents will come together for the support of their children in public. For instance, both parents and their new partners may attend a child’s dance recital together in a show of family solidarity.

With parallel parenting, only one parent would attend the dance recital. The other parent may show up for the Post recital ice cream social, or there may be an arrangement where one parent does everything having to do with a child’s dance activities while the other parent is in charge of sports.

The benefits of parallel parenting

One of the biggest benefits is that it allows your children access to both parents while shielding them from the conflict between you and your ex-spouse. Particularly in the case of personality disorders, a parallel parenting arrangement may be the best choice indefinitely.

In other cases, it is possible that the passage of time will help cool tempers and a parallel parenting situation may transition into a more traditional co-parenting setup.