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How do I co-parent with a difficult ex?

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2021 | Child Custody

Many divorces come about because the relationship was toxic. While walking away from a toxic situation is a celebration, it can become complicated if you have children. Having children with a toxic personality means that you are going to have a partnership with said toxic personality post-divorce whether you like it or not.

In some situations, even though the courts may mandate joint custody in the name of what is best for the child, co-parenting is not the best arrangement. This is where parallel parenting comes in.

What is parallel parenting?

It is likely that, even though both you and your ex-spouse have flaws, your children love both of you. This is why the court mandates joint custody in the majority of situations. However, it is not good for you or your ex-spouse to be consistently exposed to each other if it simply opens up old arguments and wounds.

Parallel parenting allows the children access to both you and your ex-spouse while minimizing the ex-spouses’ exposure to each other.

What does it look like?

In a traditional co-parenting arrangement, both parents may show up to events like birthdays or sport tournaments in support of the child (and may bring their new significant others along, even). With parallel parenting, the parents would never be in the same space at the same time.

For example, in parallel parenting the child may have two separate birthday parties. Or one parent may handle everything having to do with a child’s sporting activities while the other parent focuses on musical education. Parallel parenting protects both the parents and the children.


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