Generally speaking, unless there was violence or substance abuse present in the family home, both parents will continue to raise the children together in the event of a divorce. This arrangement is commonly known as “co-parenting” or “joint custody.”
However, creating an effective co-parenting situation can be difficult if there is a high level of animosity between the parents. In this instance, parallel parenting may be a superior option. According to Healthline, parallel parenting involves both parents working to raise the children together, but with a built-in degree of separation.
How is parallel parenting different?
The main difference between parallel parenting and co-parenting is that co-parenting involves both parents presenting a united front to the rest of the world. For example, in a co-parenting situation both parents may attend a child’s soccer game together in a show of support even if they divorce and bring separate partners.
With parallel parenting, only one parent would actually attend the game. The other parent may show support by coming to the post-game pizza party.
What are the advantages?
Parallel parenting provides a safe space both for the children and the adults. Particularly if the marriage was emotionally abusive, separation between the parents is a must. It is still possible to raise your children jointly without having to be in the presence of your ex-spouse constantly. Parallel parenting allows you to do this.
It is also possible that after a period of parallel parenting the relationship between the ex-spouses may improve. At this point, the family can migrate to a more-traditional co-parenting arrangement if they desire.