It is likely that you will be splitting parenting time with your spouse after the divorce. This is because having both parents actively involved in raising the children is in the child’s best interests in most circumstances.
However, even though this may be in the child’s best interest, it does not necessarily mean that it is in yours. Particularly if you are on very bad terms with your ex-spouse or your ex-spouse has narcissistic tendencies, engaging and co-parenting with him or her may seem like a nightmare. This is when parallel parenting is the solution.
When you and your ex cannot come together for the children
With a traditional cooperative approach to parenting time, normally both parents will show up together to show support for their kids. For instance, both parents may come together to throw a birthday party for their child. They may even bring their new partners to the party.
With parallel parenting, the parents are not together at the same place at the same time. They may choose to have two separate birthday parties for the child. They may also choose to have one parent in charge of throwing the actual party, while the other parent may choose to take the child on a special trip. At no point are the parents together.
Into the future
Particularly if narcissism is at hand, a permanent parallel parenting relationship may be the best solution for constructive and happy parenting time. However, you may also find that time can heal some wounds, and you and your ex can choose to convert a parallel parenting situation into a cooperative parenting relationship if possible.