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Parallel parenting: shared custody doesn’t require co-parenting

Sometimes distrust and bitterness that begins before or during a Tennessee divorce can spill over from parents to the children. If you and your ex cannot be in the same room without arguing and throwing accusations, co-parenting may not be a feasible option. In situations where parents share custody of the children but prefer no direct contact with each other, parallel parenting may be beneficial.

According to Psychology Today, parallel parenting works when divorced couples want complete independence from each other.

Differences from co-parenting

Parents who maintain equal responsibility for raising their children and have an amicable relationship may choose co-parenting. You and your ex may attend events together, such as doctor’s appointments and school activities. Frequent communication keeps each of you apprised of changing schedules and needs. However, if this level of cooperation is unrealistic, parallel parenting provides an alternative.

Benefits of parallel parenting

This approach vastly reduces the interaction required between you and your ex. It allows you to detach from each other and decide how to parent when your children are with you. You can develop your own parenting style and maintain your distance from the other parent and minimize the potential for emotional outbursts. Email or other formal communication methods can help you maintain a professional relationship rather than a personal one.

Parallel parenting may be a permanent or temporary way to ensure both of you remain active participants in your children’s lives, yet separate. You can parallel parent while working your way through personal issues. The parenting plan may stay the same, regardless of the parenting style you and your ex decide upon.