You may be going through a divorce and have the option to be a co-parent. However, many articles that discuss how to be good co-parents don’t talk about legal battles and parent conflicts. You may be well aware that you and your ex-spouse can’t be co-parents.
If you aren’t comfortable with being a co-parent you may need to consider parallel parenting:
Accept you can’t work together yet
Perhaps you’ve considered being a co-parent. Rather than trying and failing to be the ideal co-parents, you may need to accept that you are not ready. Rather than trying to negotiate and find a compromise on a range of things, you can decide not to even bother.
It’s not bad, it’s realistic
Divorce and events that lead to it can sometimes leave major emotional wounds. They can take a lot of time to heal, and continuing to aggravate them by being a co-parent can delay the healing process. So, if you instead agree to let each other parent as they wish, you reduce the friction points between you.
That does not mean each parent has total free reign
You must still both abide by the custody agreement, and you’ll still need to discuss the big things, such as which high school your child will attend or whether they need dental braces.
When the child is with you, you can decide how to parent them. When they’re with your ex, they decide. You agree not to question your ex’s choices, and they agree not to question yours. You’re both heading for the same destination – to raise your kids as well as possible – but you take different routes to get there.
If you think parallel parenting could be the most realistic choice for you, consider legal help to find out more about how to document it in a custody arrangement.