Co Parenting Definition

Co parenting is defined as the shared responsibility and joint participation of two parents in raising a child in all aspects of upbringing and activities.

The issue of co parenting can arise when a couple separates or divorces, or when people decide to co-parent without ever being a couple. Co-parenting only applies when both parties are the child’s parents.

Co parenting vs. parallel parenting

Some people distinguish co parenting with parallel parenting based on the amount of communication and collaboration between the co-parents. In parallel parenting, although both parents assume the shared responsibility of raising their child, the parents minimize interaction between themselves and usually have to go to court to establish a parenting plan that addresses issues such as:

  • Decision-making authority regarding discipline, friends, curfew, extra-curricular activities, etc.
  • Speaking negatively about the other parent to the children
  • Using the children to communicate with each other

Parallel parenting occurs when divorcing spouses or separated parents seek minimal interaction with each other as much as possible. Usually, this occurs when the separation is hostile and adverse, and the parents are always in conflict with each other. In this case, parents cannot collaboratively discuss and communicate with each other issues on parenting. For this reason, court intervention is usually required to establish a parenting plan that both parents strictly observe.

Co parenting, on the other hand, is a more collaborative process of parenting between the two parents. There is a substantial amount of interaction between the parents in raising the children. In order for co parenting to work, the divorcing parents must be civil to each other and able to communicate and set aside their differences for the benefit of their children. Here, the co-parents are able to collaboratively discuss issues on parenting time, visitation, discipline, and healthcare, even if they may deviate from the court-ordered custody and visitation schedules or other decision-making issues.

Co parenting tips

Co parenting is a good option when divorcing parents are on amicable terms. It reduces the emotional trauma of divorce on the children when they see their parents still collaborating together on their upbringing.

When co parenting, it’s important to not use the children as messengers and communicate directly with your ex-spouse, to be flexible with your schedule even if it deviates from the court-ordered visitation or custody schedules, and to respect the children’s time with the other parent.

If you want to file for divorce or your spouse has filed already for divorce, we, at the law offices of Albert Goodwin, are here for you. We have offices in New York City, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 212-233-1233 or send us an email at [email protected].

Attorney Albert Goodwin

Law Offices of
Albert Goodwin, PLLC
31 W 34 Str, Suite 7058
New York, NY 10001

Tel. 212-233-1233

[email protected]

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