Parenting Arrangements

Choosing a Workable Parenting Arrangement

Your child deserves the love and resources of both parents. Deciding on the co-parenting arrangement that provides your child with the best of both parents takes some thought. Think about which parenting arrangement will work best for your situation.

Cooperative Parenting

  • Parents agree on most child-rearing values
  • Parents trust each other's care giving abilities
  • Parents communicate well and can make many joint decisions

Coordinated Parenting

  • Parents agree on major child-rearing values
  • Parents are comfortable with most childcare abilities
  • Parents communicate somewhat and can make some joint decisions

Parallel Parenting

  • Parents agree on few child-rearing values
  • Parents are concerned about some childcare abilities
  • Parents have trouble communicating and making joint decisions

Solo Parenting

  • Involvement of one parent not existent or appropriate
  • Single parent has all the childcare responsibilities
  • Single parent is sole resource for child

Coordinated Parenting or Parallel Parenting?

Coordinated Parenting will work for parents who can communicate easily and have similar ideas about raising their child.

Parallel Parenting will work for parents who often find it hard to discuss parenting issues productively or who have big differences in their ideas about raising their child.

Coordinated Parenting works when:

  • Parents work together with minimal friction, focusing on the best interest of their child.
  • Parents communicate about their child regularly and accepting input from each other.
  • Parents discuss major decisions prior to making a final decision.
  • Transitions for the child from one parent's home to the other are smooth and some degree of routine is possible in both homes.
  • Parents accommodate flexibility and negotiate changes without long delays or significant conflict.
  • Parents may be able to discuss together issues that involve one parent and the child.

Parallel Parenting works when:

  • Parents work independently, each focusing separately on what they can do in the best interest of their child.
  • Parents only communicate about major changes and emergencies.
  • Each parent makes decisions affecting the child while in that parent's care and communicating the decision to the other parent.
  • The child may experience major changes going from one parent's home to the other since the "house rules" in each parent¬ís home may be very different.
  • Parents need a specific and detailed parenting plan without much flexibility since negotiation of changes raises the likelihood of significant conflict.
  • Each is parent is responsible for their own relationship with the child and does not intrude on the other parent's relationship with the child.