During a divorce, it is common for parents to have difficulty getting along with one another. It can be even more challenging to reconcile in high-conflict divorces, even with your children in mind. If you cannot reconcile or have a combative relationship, it may be in your children’s best interests not to have a lot of contact with your former spouse.
While studies show that shared custody does benefit the children, you do not have to follow the traditional co-parenting rules. Instead, parallel parenting may benefit your family.
What is parallel parenting?
Unlike co-parenting, parallel parenting does not require you to work as a team with your former spouse. You may not share the same rules at home and do not discuss many of the issues with your kids. Instead, you carry out childcare without involving the other parent in your daily activities. You try to limit your communication as much as possible.
This does not mean you never communicate. Different parenting plans require different levels of communication. For example, you may have to discuss major decisions, like hospital care, extracurricular activities and school events, but the logistics remain up to a single parent.
How can you communicate in a parallel parenting arrangement?
In a parallel parenting relationship, you may want to use email or text messages as your primary communication tool. Messaging allows you to save the conversations but also to plan everything you want to say and to refrain from reacting emotionally to something your former spouse says.
If you consider parallel parenting, you need to have a detailed parenting plan to follow. Instead of working on everything together, both parties would refer to the agreement.