There is no perfect way to parent a child; however, the best interests of the child should always be the focal point. This remains true when parents are no longer together. Whether the split was amicable or high conflict, the reality is that both parents still need to parent their children. When establishing a child custody plan, it is also important to designate how parents will communicate and work through issues that arise.
Co-parenting versus parallel parenting
When children are involved in the divorce process, parents cannot help but think about them and what is right for them. This is why parents must navigate the child custody issue and determine how to move forward with the parenting plan. However, when conflicts remain between parents, it can be challenging to parent children together.
While it is ideal to work together and co-parent the children together, it isn’t easy for divorced parents to work together. Co-parenting means working together and communicating. It also means working together to reach an agreement if issues do arise. There is often open dialogue and parents are friendly and cordial to one another.
In contrast, parallel parenting is essentially the complete opposite. In this arrangement, parents rarely communicate. Each parent will raise the children in their household and will only communicate with the other parent if it is something important.
When it’s best to parallel parent
Parallel parenting is often best for divorced parents that cannot communicate well or when one parents feels as though one parent is too controlling or intrusive. This allows for independence from the other parent. Another reason to choose this parenting plan is when one parent is triggered by the other parent. This could give rise to a lot of emotions and even result in conflicts. In turn, this could damage the children and the ability to properly parent them.
Custody plans are often not black and white. The reality is that most parents will fall somewhere between these two. Thus, parents need to determine what works best for them.
Child custody matters can be complex and emotional. This can make it even more challenging to move forward and reach a resolution. Therefore, it is imperative to explore what custody plans are available, helping parents determine what works best for their current situation.