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Child custody: Co-parenting and parallel parenting differences

If there is one thing a divorcing couple is likely to agree on is that they want what's in the best interests of their children. When it comes to child custody issues in Connecticut, parents typically strive to reach an agreement on how to best parent their children, and a lot hinges upon whether the former couple has an amicable relationship. Co-parenting may be best for the kids, but when that's not possible, parallel parenting may work.

Co-parenting is the ideal situation for children. They get the best from both parents, who take an equal part in raising their children. These are for divorced or separated couples who basically get along and have an amicable relationship and can make decisions together regarding the welfare of their kids. But when a divorced couple's relationship is rife with animosity at best, that is not always possible, and parallel parenting might be a better choice.

Parallel parenting might come into play when parents can't stand to be in each other's company, yet still want what's best for their children. This type of situation means that parents communicate in a strictly businesslike manner while never using their children as messengers or go-betweens. Any changes to schedules are made in writing, rather than verbally, and no personal information about each other is shared. Schedules are listed on a calendar or in writing. 

Both co-parenting and parallel parenting typically give children the sense of security they need when each parent agrees their children's happiness comes first. A Connecticut family law attorney will be able to help clients to fashion a child custody plan that is unique to the client's situation. These types of documents can be complex, and a lawyer will work to ensure his or her clients achieve fair and comprehensive parenting plans.

Source:, "What's the Difference Between Co-parenting and Parallel Parenting?" Terry Gaspard, accessed Jan. 5, 2018

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  • Hi Yuliana and Attorney Prince, Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to meet with me. I really appreciated how compassionate you were while listening to my situation, even through my tears. Thank you so much for sharing such valuable information with me. I left feeling very hopeful that when the dust settles, I’ll be ok.
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