Does it feel like you will simply never have the peace or space you need to recover from divorce? Does shared custody or cooperative parenting feel like a distant, unachievable dream? If so, parallel parenting may suit your needs.
This form of parenting serves as a stepping stone between the period immediately after a divorce and a future in which cooperative parenting may feel more viable. But what is it, and how does it work?
The benefits of written communication
Psychology Today discusses parallel parenting and its purpose in post-divorce situations. Parallel parenting helps reduce conflict between newly divorced co-parents through the avoidance of in-person communication. Instead of talking face-to-face, you instead communicate strictly through the text like emails, text messages or instant messages.
You can even communicate through the written word. Many co-parents who utilize parallel parenting will avoid conversations by writing detailed logs related to their child and passing them between one another when their child goes to visit either parent. This lets everyone stay in the loop about current happenings without needing to hold conversations.
Reevaluation of your situation
A judge will reevaluate your parenting situation every so often. They will determine if you should continue with parallel parenting in your current set-up, if they should make any adjustments, or if it appears you and your co-parent can move on to more cooperative forms of parenting. Of course, the timeline for this progress will look different for every family, so you should not go into the arrangement with specific expectations for deadlines.
Though parallel parenting will not work out for every couple, it is a strong, viable option if you think you and your co-parent can work up to cooperative parenting someday.