If you have gone through a difficult divorce, it is normal for resentment to last between you and your former spouse. The real issue is when this resentment gets in the way of your ability to parent your child together. While many couples opt for co-parenting, Healthline explains that parallel parenting is an alternative for exes with a challenging relationship.
This process entails keeping communication with your ex to a minimum to avoid conflict. While it is not ideal, it is beneficial in situations where your ex has narcissistic tendencies or was emotionally abusive to some degree. Here are a few ways you can develop a parallel parenting relationship with your former spouse.
Have a plan in place for time-sharing
The more detailed your custody plan is, the better. Explicitly spell out the number of days you will have your child and how many days your ex will. Also, consider how to handle holidays to prevent squabbles at the worst possible time.
Set a neutral location for drop-offs and pick-ups
You probably do not want your ex to come to your home, and you may not feel comfortable going to theirs. In this case, choose a neutral location, such as a grocery store parking lot, when picking up or dropping off your child. Being in a public place ensures your security, and it also allows you to exchange your child with minimal conversation.
Devise a strategy for cancellations
You and your ex will have times when you cannot take your child according to your established plan. In this case, create a strategy for cancellations, specifically whether either parent can make up time or if they must wait until the next visit.
In the event your ex does not adhere to the court order established during your divorce, the best course of action is to take the matter back to the court. Parenting agreements are legally binding, and the court will enforce them for the sake of your child.