High-conflict divorce is stressful enough on its own, but it becomes a very fraught situation with children involved. Whether your ex is a narcissist, has a personality disorder or if the relationship with your ex has simply soured to the point where it is difficult to be in the same room without conflict, parenting with him or her may seem impossible.
However, unless there was abuse in your family home, it is highly likely that you will hold joint custody to some degree with your ex. In the event of high-conflict divorce, “traditional” co-parenting often will not work. According to Healthline, parallel parenting is a solution that can benefit both parents and any children going through a high-conflict divorce scenario.
What makes parallel parenting different
Typically, “traditional” co-parenting involves some level of cooperation between parents. It is possible that the mother, father, and children may get together for family events. For instance, the parents may get together to celebrate a child’s birthday party.
However, in a high-conflict situation, this is not likely to pan out well. Parallel parenting focuses on separating the parents as much as possible while giving the children access to both. In a parallel parenting situation, it is likely that the parents will throw two separate birthday parties for the child.
Parallel parenting and moving forward
In some high-conflict situations, it is possible that parallel parenting will be the arrangement until the child turns 18. In others, a period of successful parallel parenting may result in a more cooperative co-parenting relationship evolving over time.
There is no one-size-fits-all parenting plan for all families. However, parallel parenting can help high-conflict divorce families focus on the most important thing: the well-being of the children.