Joint custody is very common after divorce, provided that there was no history of substance abuse or general abuse in the family home. However, just because this is the general arrangement does not make it an easy one to manage.
Particularly if your ex-spouse is a narcissist, continuing to parent with him or her might seem more like a punishment from the courts as compared to an act done in the best interest of the child. According to Healthline, when traditional co-parenting will not work, parallel parenting is a viable option.
What is it?
The main difference between parallel parenting and co-parenting is that with parallel parenting the parents are very rarely in the same place at the same time. The child still gets ample time with both parents, but the parents are rarely together.
For instance, in a co-parenting situation, the parents may come together to throw the child a birthday party. With parallel parenting, this does not happen. Instead, the child may have two completely separate birthday celebrations, one with each parent. One parent may be in charge of the child’s religious upbringing, while the other handles all sporting events.
What are the benefits?
The major benefit is that parallel parenting shields the child from whatever conflict exists between the parents. Additionally, in some situations, it is possible for successful parallel parenting to transition into more traditional co-parenting after a period of time.
Even if parallel parenting stays in place until the children grow up, the fact that this style allows the parents space from each other and prevents arguments in front of the child makes it successful in many instances.