Divorced parents in Indiana may choose parallel parenting as an alternative to other parenting plans. Unlike co-parenting, where parents live apart but still make joint decisions, parallel parenting allows each parent to have their approach to discipline, acceptable activities, structure and routine.
The real-world impact of parallel parenting
With parallel parenting, each parent has their own ideas of what is in the best interests of their child or children. As a result, the challenge for parents is to make decisions that focus on the child that both parents can agree on. Parallel parenting means parents do not make decisions or engage in parenting activities together. They may attend separate parent-teacher conferences or extracurricular activities. Very few things get discussed between the parents and most agreements they put in writing.
Making a success of parallel parenting
Some parents have found success in navigating parallel parenting by laying out things in writing, such as a parenting agreement, child custody schedule or parenting plans. Being specific about details like pick-up times and decision-making outside written agreements has been key for many.
Sometimes, parents pick up and drop off their children for their ex-spouse at a location with minimal contact. For example, one parent may drop off the children at school at the end of their visitation time, and the other parent will pick them up at the end of the school day.
There are situations where parallel parenting can pose challenges, especially when it involves risks to the children. However, with proper planning and communication, the challenges of raising children after divorce can be overcome.