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Parallel parenting: for when co-parenting simply doesn’t work

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2022 | Family Law

Not every relationship results in “happily ever after.” Many relationships simply do not work out. For some couples in New Jersey who had a child together but are no longer in a relationship with one another and have major disagreements with one another, the idea of co-parenting seems impossible. These parents may be more interested in parallel parenting.

What is co-parenting?

When two parents commit to co-parenting, they agree to work with one another when raising their child. They agree to shared household rules, and approximately shared 50-50 time spent with their child. They also agree to attend major life events surrounding their child such as birthdays and holidays together.

What is parallel parenting?

Not all parents leave their relationship on such good terms. Lingering animosity and resentment can cloud a parent’s ability to work with their child’s other parent productively. These parents may find that parallel parenting works better than co-parenting.

Through parallel parenting, each parent will establish their own house rules regarding the child. They will agree to respect each other’s parenting time, by showing up to pick-ups and drop-offs on time. They will also agree to a set schedule by which they will individually attend to the child’s major life events.

Some people who choose parallel parenting cannot communicate effectively face-to-face. They may find texting, emailing or even exchanging a shared notebook back-and-forth easier than face-to-face contact.

Parallel parenting is an option for some

Some who are raising their child together following a break-up or divorce are able to work together as co-parents. For others, however, co-parenting simply will not work. These parents may find parallel parenting better suited for their needs.