You probably agonize over how you and your ex will raise your children after your divorce. Some divorces end with each spouse wishing to have as little contact with the other as possible. If you and your former spouse share custody, you might have to decide what form of parenting works for the both of you.
If you have heard of co-parenting and parallel parenting, you may think they are the same or similar. As Psychology Today explains, the two are actually very different from each other.
A look at co-parenting
A co-parenting arrangement is usually harmonious. You and your ex arrive at decisions together. If there is a problem, you and your co-parent do your best to work out a solution. There is also general agreement on parenting plans, with both parents making sure to match their schedules when needed.
While disagreements may still occur, there is general respect among both parents. Co-parenting generally works well for divorced spouses who are good at parenting their children but may have had other issues that caused the end of the marriage.
A look at parallel parenting
By contrast, parallel parenting means you have little contact with your former spouse. Your children live in your house for a time before visiting their other parent for a period. The cycle then repeats. Divorced spouses usually engage in parallel parenting when they need to break from each other because of emotional reasons or because one parent is too overbearing or invasive.
Consider which type works for you
To figure out which form of parenting is the best fit for your situation, consider how much emotional stress you will experience if you have contact with your ex. A solid parenting agreement or plan can establish the boundaries of each parent as well as work out how each parent spends time with the children.