Sharing the Kid You Love with the Spouse You Don’t

Sharing the Kid You Love with the Spouse You Don’t

ParentingDivorce is difficult, especially for your child. During this trying time, the best way to offset the negativity of the separation is by giving the child access to both parents. He needs to see that Mommy and Daddy are OK together even if they live under separate roofs.

But what if you and your ex-spouse are always at each other’s throats?

Co-parenting: A Challenge for High Conflict Couples

Trying to co-parent immediately after a divorce can be counterproductive, especially if you are not in good terms with your spouse. Your high-conflict relationship may result in heated arguments and discussions. Kids notice and often react negatively to fighting parents. When they constantly see Mom and Dad fighting, this results in harm to their physical and mental health. recommends setting up a parenting plan that works for both parents. If burying the hatchet with your former spouse is not possible, however, then parallel parenting is your best option.

Like Train Tracks: Understanding Parallel Parenting

Psychology Today defines parallel parenting as “…an arrangement in which divorced parents are able to co-parent by means of disengaging from each other, and having limited direct contact, in situations where they are unable to communicate with each other in a respectful manner”.

Unlike traditional co-parenting, parents work toward a similar goal (to raise the children properly) without the need to cross paths. For high conflict families, this parenting model offers a system that keeps you and your spouse apart while remaining in the children’s lives.

Under such an arrangement, both parents have the right to decision-making in different areas. For example, you take charge of your child’s medical concerns while your former partner handles education. Parents only come in contact when they must make major decisions.

Settling the Dust Works

Parallel parenting protects your child’s relationship with his parents while keeping him away from arguments. Parenting separately also places your child away from conflict and focuses on improving his well-being.

Time away from each other eventually leads to the mending of wounds and cordiality. In the future, parents can care for their children together once the tension has ended.

Regardless of the parenting arrangement, look at your relationship objectively and how it will impact your children. You might not love your spouse anymore, but your love for the kids should drive you towards the best decision.