Not every New Jersey couple who divorces can easily put aside their differences in order to co-parent. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to share joint custody and spend as equal an amount of time with the children as possible. Many couples can’t stand to be in the same room together but can easily acknowledge that each of them is a good parent to the children.
This acknowledgement may be enough for divorcing parents to come to an agreement regarding child custody and parenting time. Even after a contentious and emotional divorce, it is possible to enjoy joint custody of the children thanks to a unique arrangement.
Have you heard of parallel parenting?
If you think of co-parenting as perpendicular because the parents cross paths and communicate often with each other about the children, then it should not take much to imagine what parallel parenting is and does. In this type of parenting time, you share custody of the children while having as little contact with your former spouse as possible. Communication between the two of you is severely limited and controlled, and it is only about the children. Other highlights include those listed below:
- No more conflicts in front of the children
- Includes a highly detailed parenting time schedule with little to no flexibility
- Includes rules regarding cancellations and make-up time
- Puts concrete time limits on pick-ups, visitation and drop-offs
- Includes a detailed plan regarding resolving any disputes between the parents
Since you cannot effectively communicate with your ex-spouse at this point, you may find it a relief to use this parenting method. As time goes on and emotions heal, you could have more contact with each other. But for now, this is the best way to continue providing your children with as much love and support as possible. Who knows, in a year or two, you and the other parent may end up as co-parents because you agreed to give each other the space to heal.
Will parallel parenting work for you?
If the above appeals to you at this point in your vision of your post-divorce future, you will need to find a way to work with your future former spouse to make it happen. It may take a lot of effort, but as long as you know there is an end, you could put aside your emotions long enough to create a parallel parenting plan with which you both, and especially your children, can live.