Experts of divorce often advise parents to work together and try out shared custody situations whenever possible. After all, studies across the globe have shown that this method of parenting causes the least damage and offers the most help to children of divorce.
But what happens if you think shared custody is out of the question? More specifically, what can you do when you expect you cannot cooperate enough with a co-parent to parent together?
Supporting your child
Psychology Today takes a look at parallel parenting and how it can benefit your entire family. Parallel parenting serves as a potential option that can meet the needs of conflicted, divorcing parents, along with your children.
First, it still allows your child to enjoy the benefits of having the involvement and support of both parents. You and your co-parent share equal responsibility and have an equal amount of involvement in your child’s life.
Limiting forms of communication
Parallel parenting will limit your direct communication and contact, though. Through this option, you cannot meet face to face with your co-parent. Instead, you must hold your conversations through text formats. This includes emails, text messages, instant messaging chats or even letters.
You can have thorough communication with one another this way. For example, you can send a notebook back and forward with your child when they go to complete visitations. Use the notebook to document how the visitation went and note any observations which you deem crucial for your co-parent to know. This can keep you both in the loop while minimizing the chance of conflict, sparing your child the sight of their parents arguing. It is a net win for everyone involved.