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Deciding between co-parenting and parallel parenting

Parents in Kentucky may have questions about how to raise their children after a divorce. Co-parenting and parallel parenting are both valid child-rearing structures that exes can choose to follow. However, deciding which is best for the individual situation requires weighing some pros and cons.

Co-parenting requires both parents to have healthy communication and respect. This means that each ex must be able to look past their personal emotions regarding the divorce and focus on the children instead. It is not necessarily easy for divorced parents to co-parent, especially when the divorce is still fresh in their hearts. However, if the divorce was not emotional in nature, or if the parents are especially adept at putting aside their feelings, co-parenting can work.

On the other hand, parallel parenting is a way for parents to remain fully connected to their kids without necessarily having to put aside their differences. Parallel parenting allows the parents to keep some distance between each other. For example, while parallel parents will generally agree on major decisions such as which religion the child will be brought up in, they largely parent on their own. This helps ease conflict and keeps relationships with the children moving forward.

While co-parenting may seem like the best way to parent, if it results in conflict, it should likely be avoided. Exposure to fighting and conflict is the source of the greatest post-divorce stress for children, especially when they know the fighting has something to do with them. For parents who are still struggling with conflict resolution, parallel parenting is likely the best option.

Deciding between parallel parenting and co-parenting isn't a decision that has to be made alone. An attorney with experience in child custody could help a client decide on which parenting structure is best for their situation.

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