Some divorces end on amicable terms, but others represent the conclusion of a toxic relationship. In this instance, it is not uncommon for the ex-spouses to not be on friendly talking terms. However, if you and your ex-spouse have kids, it is likely that you will share custody after divorce.
Figuring out how to co-parent with a toxic ex-spouse is very challenging. According to Healthline, many parents in this situation opt for a parallel parenting plan as compared to “traditional” co-parenting.
What does it look like?
In “traditional” co-parenting, while the co-parents live separately (and may have new partners) they will come together for certain family events. For instance, it is possible that the co-parents, new partners and children will celebrate birthdays and major holidays together. It is also possible for both parents to show up in support of a child at a dance recital or sporting event.
With parallel parenting, this does not happen. It is possible that both parents will conjure up to separate birthday events for the child. One parent may attend the sporting event or dance recital, and the other parent may show up to take over for the post-event ice cream social.
What are the benefits?
Parallel parenting allows your children equal access to both parents, as the court intends. However, it also allows a fair amount of separation between the parents, which provides a less stress-filled family relationship for both children and adults. This separation, in turn, shields the child from whatever the conflict is between the parents. Families dealing with high conflict divorce may find that parallel parenting is the best approach to parenting post-divorce.