Client-Centered Solutions

What if I don’t get along with my ex, but we have joint custody?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2020 | Divorce

Many couples divorce because they can no longer put aside their differences. But, what if you feel like you still have far too frequent run-ins with your ex because you are co-parenting your children?

When co-parents aren’t looking to be in each other’s presence after separating from one another, they can try and use a parallel parenting arrangement instead. Through parallel parenting, you and your ex-spouse can take care of your children with minimal interaction with one another.

Features of this type or arrangement often include:

  • Abiding by a strict pick-up and drop-off schedule
  • Keeping exchanges brief when you do have to cross paths
  • Attending child-related events or appointments separately
  • Planning out a parenting schedule months in advance
  • Communicating digitally rather than in-person

Parallel parenting allows each party to sort of set their own rules in their house. For example, instead of working together to create similar bedtime routines in each of the child’s homes, parents will do what they think works well. Or, when a child gets into trouble at school and one parent wants to ban the child from using technology for a month, the other parent doesn’t have to enforce this discipline tactic if they don’t want to.

Put child’s needs first

The root of any parenting plan should be your children. So, if you are only avoiding seeing your ex-spouse due to small issues you can probably work out, then consider your children’s feelings. Especially in scenarios where a child would feel supported by having both parents in the stands at their soccer game or play performance.

However, if you truly cannot work together without disagreeing on small and large details, then your family may benefit from a parallel parenting arrangement. This is because your children won’t have to witness any major arguments or shouting matches.

At the end of the day, parallel parenting allows children to build a bond with both parents. And, in turn, this can lead to raising children who achieve good grades, are mentally healthy and stray away from risky behavior.