Wrapping your head around how much communication is necessary for co-parenting can be hard to predict until you settle into your divorce and begin following a custody schedule. But if you find that you’d do a lot better with less interaction with your ex, then you might want to consider a parallel parenting arrangement.
Through parallel parenting, you can be less involved with your ex and protect your children from seeing you and your ex not getting along. Below are three signs that veering from traditional co-parenting might be best for your family.
1) Constant disagreement
Is saying you don’t get along with your ex-spouse an understatement? This could be one of the main reasons you decided to pursue a divorce in the first place. And it’s a reason you might want to try parallel parenting.
Through parallel parenting, you can take a more business-like approach to communicating with your ex. This can help prevent potential arguments with your ex, because you can set boundaries for how you communicate and how often you communicate. For example, if your ex constantly texts and calls you about child-related matters — large and small — you can setup a rule to only use a designated parenting app to communicate, unless an emergency arises.
2) Too much interaction
Maybe it is difficult to see your ex or see that they are happy while you are still processing the breakup. Divorce can be tough, but parallel parenting allows co-parents to disengage through minimal in-person interactions as well.
Creating a plan that limits your contact with your children’s other parent requires great attention to detail. But, the more specific the short- and long-term schedules within in your plan are, the less you will have to touch base with your ex. One way to eliminate regular back and forth communication is through setting a permanent arrangement for picking up and dropping off your kids.
3) Children caught in the middle
Do you rely on your children to pass along messages to your ex? Although you might feel like this system works well because your child will see your co-parent before you do, it’s not always a great idea. In fact, constantly having your child relay information to your ex might make them feel like a pawn and create distance between you and them. Once you establish a certain protocol for discussing child-related matters, you will be more than equipped to communicate with your ex on your own.
Parallel parenting creates a mutual understanding that contact will be minimum. But if you ever feel ready to speak with your co-parent on a more regular basis, you can always edit parts of the arrangement that aren’t working for your family and lifestyle.