Getting divorced from your spouse may be the next best step for you, but if you have children you will still have a connection with your ex-spouse for the rest of your life. It is likely that in the aftermath of your divorce you will end up in a joint custody situation.
Most families attempt a co-parenting arrangement of some variety, but if you and your ex-spouse have a very acrimonious relationship it may not be possible to create a functioning plan this way. According to Healthline, parallel parenting is a viable option for families where the parents have a high level of interpersonal conflict and cannot co-parent effectively.
How is parallel parenting different?
Co-parenting typically involves two parents that are friendly with each other (at least on the surface) working together to parent their children. Co-parenting might involve both parents attending a child’s soccer game as a show of support (with new significant others in many cases) and present a united front as a family in this way.
Parallel parenting, on the other hand, would only involve one parent attending the soccer game. The other parent might choose to participate in the post-game pizza party. With parallel parenting, the parents are never together in the same place at the same time for very long.
Who does this benefit?
The major benefit of parallel parenting is that it keeps the conflict between the parents away from the children. Additionally, if you have a successful parallel parenting situation for a while it may help ease the tension in the family and allow everybody to transition to a more traditional co-parenting situation.