Co-parenting is a popular post-divorce arrangement, but this is because the family court does what is in the best interest of the child. Unless there is a history of violence or substance abuse in the family home, usually children thrive when both parents have an active hand in raising them. This applies even if the parents divorce.
However, if you and your ex-spouse have an acrimonious relationship, maintaining an active co-parenting plan with him or her can be too much. This is when parallel parenting comes into play. According to Healthline, parallel parenting allows both parents to raise the kids together while maintaining little or no contact with each other.
How is this different from co-parenting?
Co-parenting involves more active and open cooperation between the parents as compared to parallel parenting. Parallel parenting instead relies on both parents adhering religiously to a parenting plan that they work out in court.
Co-parenting, for example, may involve both parents showing up to soccer games and doctor appointments. With parallel parenting, the parents are never in the same place at the same time.
How is this beneficial?
The main benefit of parallel parenting is that it allows both parents to be actively involved in raising the children but it protects the children from the conflict between the parents. Ideally, parents can come together after a divorce for the good of the children but in some situations this is not really possible. Parallel parenting may be the only realistic way to have both parents equally involved with the children and be able to parent harmoniously while staying separated.