What should you do if co-parenting doesn’t work?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2022 | Child Custody

There are some people who have children together who just do not agree on much of anything at all about how to raise them. They may have had a traumatic end to their marriage and have to deal with contentious issues surrounding custody.

For those parents, co-parenting doesn’t always work out well. That doesn’t mean they don’t have to try, though.

When co-parenting gets hard, you need to consider parallel parenting

Sometimes, working together with your ex isn’t going to be very easy, so another option is parallel parenting. Consider this as a way of raising your child independently while your ex does the same. You’ll communicate as little as possible to reduce conflict and use methods of communication that can be tracked to minimize the risk of arguments.

Parallel parenting is a shared parenting method, but neither parent interacts with the other unless they absolutely have to. To make parallel parenting work, you need to make major decisions about your children in advance, such as their religious needs, extracurricular activities and educational needs. Then, you could assign specific actions to each parent and allow them to make decisions within those areas. For example, one parent may be responsible for signing their child up for school events.

Some people alternate handling responsibilities, too. For example, if your ex signed your child up for baseball last year, you might handle the paperwork this year.

Parallel parenting can reduce conflicts when conflicts are common

Although parallel parenting does require you to let go of some control, it can greatly reduce conflicts by allowing you and the other parent to parent the way you see fit when you have custody. In a joint-custody scenario, parallel parenting may help minimize the risk of conflicts during pick-up and drop-off times and show your children that there are ways that you and the other parent can minimize arguments and fights to benefit them, even if you don’t get along.

Parallel parenting is just one of several options for parents dealing with co-parenting issues. There may also be additional options that you can look into if conflicts are still making it hard to parent your children well.

FindLaw Network
Heidi L. Heinrich
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