Colorado parents headed for divorce court may have heard about co-parenting as well as parallel parenting plans. These are two distinct variations of parenting arrangements that can be adopted and enforced by courts when a family splits. If parents cannot agree on a plan, a court is most likely to impose a parallel plan, but if the parents can get along and are committed to setting aside personal interests in favor of what most benefits the children, co-parenting is an option that has proven beneficial to children.

Co-parenting could more accurately be described as collaborative parenting. The collaborative approach involves the parents continuing to work together to raise their children even though they are no longer living under the same roof. For such a situation to work, the parents must communicate frequently and stay on the same page with their children. Collaborative relationships typically have parents presenting a united front on matters such as discipline and working as a team to support the children’s progress and growth. Collaborative parents may engage in such things as joint celebrations and birthday parties in order to preserve normalcy for the children.

Parallel parenting arrangements typically emerge from more acrimonious situations or where the parents simply cannot agree on the basics of what is best for children. In this arrangement, a detailed plan is crafted or imposed by the courts. The plan is highly detailed and minimizes the need for parents to communicate or work together. Typically, the only communications in this arrangement are related to logistics and are rather formal in nature. Sometimes, third-party intermediaries are even used for messaging. While this is not the ideal situation, it is much more beneficial for kids than constant stress from parental fighting in their presence. Conflict is the single greatest source of anguish for children of divorce.

Greenwood Village, Colorado, child custody and parenting time divorce attorneys know that divorce and child custody litigation can be highly emotional, and objectivity becomes difficult. Consulting a qualified family law attorney may help parents navigate a difficult process by identifying the best strategies and options for their unique situations.