Getting divorced with children involved means that even after the divorce is over you will still be in a partnership with your ex-spouse. For most couples, figuring out parenting after divorce is a challenge on its own. However, if your relationship with your ex-spouse is poor or if he or she is a narcissist, the idea of co-parenting may seem impossible.
This is where parallel parenting comes in. Parallel parenting is different from a traditional co-parenting relationship because it involves the parents being as separated as possible while still raising children together.
Together, but apart
In a traditional co-parenting situation, it is not uncommon for the parents to support the children at family events. For instance, the entire biological family may be present at a birthday party or a big sporting event. In this situation, the parents may even bring new partners along if they exist.
With parallel parenting, the parents would never be in the same place at the same time. It is possible that the child would have two separate birthday parties. It is also possible that one parent would be at the helm of everything having to do with sports, while another parent may spearhead religious or education.
In some cases, parallel parenting relationships will evolve into more traditional co-parenting relationships as there is more time between the parents and the conflict of divorce. In some situations, parallel parenting lasts until the child reaches the age of majority and beyond.
In either case, parallel parenting can help you get the separation you need from your ex-spouse to be healthy and move forward while also allowing your child equal access to both of you.