Raising children with your ex-spouse after divorce usually requires an adjustment period. But what if it seems like the co-parenting plan you devised is simply not working out because of negative feelings you still have about your ex or the divorce process?

Fortunately, you can always go back to the drawing board to devise a new parenting plan. Perhaps one that allows you to provide the best care for your children and interact minimally with your ex. In situations where parents can’t exactly put aside their differences, a parallel parenting could make the transition from married to divorced life much smoother.

How does it work?

When it comes to co-parenting, children will still split their time between two households. However, it wouldn’t be uncommon for both parents to show up a child’s sporting event or throw a birthday party together for a child. In co-parenting plans, ex-spouses are usually highly communicative and kindly interact with one another for the sake of their children.

On the other hand, divorced couples who opt for a parallel parenting plan usually have a more business-like relationship. This route allows you to only communicate or meet when important or emergency situations arise. Strict adherence to the custody schedule and predetermined pick-up and drop-off locations is also typical in parallel parenting arrangements.

What are some of the benefits?

Although you might not be on be the best terms with your ex, there are some advantages to parallel parenting, including:

  • Fewer in-person exchanges can reduce the chance of arguing with your ex
  • Establishes grounds for a consistent schedule, and stability is important for children
  • You have time to process the emotional effects of your divorce and preserve your mental health

There is no cookie cutter parenting plan, so you can blend traditional co-parenting plan elements into your parallel parenting plan and vice versa.

At the end of the day, you should develop a routine that allows you to maintain enough distance between your ex as you need and provide your children safe and nurturing spaces to grow. It’s also a good idea to add terms to your plan that permit you to alter it if your co-parent relationship improves or worsens.