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Weighing pros and cons of parallel parenting and co-parenting

Divorced parents in Kansas City have many options in regard to raising their children. However, there are two major parenting structures that are recommended to divorced mothers and fathers. These structures are known as co-parenting and parallel parenting, and each has its own set of pros and cons.

Co-parenting is the structure generally recommended when both parents are able to look past their differences and avoid conflict with one another. This structure requires the exes to maintain contact and work together to give the children a sense of stability and safety. When co-parenting is successful, the children get to enjoy stable, close relationships with both parents instead of having to deal with vastly different parenting strategies. However, co-parenting relies on the ex-partners' ability to get along. Mutual respect is key for successful co-parenting. If exes are still arguing and fighting, co-parenting won't work.

Parallel parenting is the structure recommended when exes still struggle with conflict. With parallel parenting, only major decisions such as religion and education are made mutually. All other decisions are made on each parent's own terms. This means the parents will have to relinquish control over each other's parenting decisions, but it also means that there will be less conflict, which is better for the kids. Children are often deeply distressed by witnessing conflict between their divorced parents.

Deciding between parallel parenting and co-parenting is not necessarily easy, especially when emotions are still raw. However, working with an attorney who has experience in child custody can make it easier for a divorcing parent to decide. Legal counsel could recommend a parenting structure based on the parents' individual situation.

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