In the event that you and your ex-spouse have children together, unless there was violence or addiction present in the home it is likely you will have joint custody. This is because in most instances the courtroom believes that having both parents continue to raise their children together after divorce is beneficial for the kids.
However, in the event that your ex-spouse has a personality disorder or if you and your ex are simply not on speaking terms, this can seem more like a punishment. Fortunately, parallel parenting can help manage some of the difficulties related to joint custody. According to Healthline, parallel parenting allows the child access to both parents but minimizes the actual contact between the parents while parenting.
What does it look like?
In many co-parenting situations, the parents may come together with the child as a family for certain events. For instance, maybe both parents (and their new partners if applicable) may come together to show a child support at a baseball game.
In a parallel parenting situation, the parents are not together at the same time. In the above instance, one parent may be present for the game itself. After the game, the other parent may take the child to the post-game ice cream social.
How long does it last?
Particularly in instances where one parent has a personality disorder, parallel parenting may be a permanent and perfectly functional arrangement. In some situations, as time passes the conflict may go down between the parents. In this instance, switching to a “regular” co-parenting approach may be possible. It all depends on the family dynamics at work.