What if you can’t co-parent?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2024 | Custody & Parenting

To co-parent, you need to be able to cooperate. For some divorcing couples, the chances of managing this are slim. The friction between them, perhaps exacerbated by a heated divorce process, can leave them unable to consider each other’s opinions or discuss even simple matters.

In such cases, parallel parenting may be more likely to succeed. Let’s look at what it is:

Reducing communication

Cooperation requires a lot of communication. That can create opportunities for further conflict. If, for example, even a simple discussion about a suitable bedtime for your child on a school night is likely to end in a full-blown argument then it may be best to avoid even trying to have that discussion.

Instead, you agree that when the child is with you, you can set the rules as you wish, and when they are with the other parent, they set the rules as they wish – that way you do not need to argue about it.

Reducing contact

Another reason for parallel parenting is if one party likes to manipulate the other. If you know that your soon-to-be ex will use handovers as an excuse to make you feel bad –  by, for example, turning up late on purpose so you are late for work – then cutting out the person-to-person handovers altogether may be best. 

Alternatives could be to have someone else do them for you or have one parent drop the child off at an activity (such as school or a music class) and the other pick them up when it ends. 

By parallel parenting, you can potentially make a tricky parenting relationship less challenging. Learning more about your options can help you choose the most appropriate solutions when planning custody and parenting.

FindLaw Network