Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC Jan. 3, 2019

Some parents in Colorado who are divorced are still able to get along well enough to co-parent. However, to successfully co-parent, parents need to be able to communicate effectively, reach agreements together regarding the child’s upbringing and even be able to attend important events together with their child. Ultimately, while co-parenting can be a positive thing, oftentimes parents are simply unable to communicate without fighting, have lingering animosity or anger following their divorce or simply want to have as little contact with one another as possible. In the end, co-parenting is not an option for everyone.

However, parents who are unable to co-parent following their divorce do have another option: parallel parenting. Like co-parenting, those who choose parallel parenting put the child’s needs first. Parents make major decisions regarding the child’s life together, but that will be the extent of their decision-making with one another. They will each make their own decisions regarding the child’s day-to-day care when they have parenting time with their child.

When a parent is parallel parenting following a divorce, communication with their ex can be limited to text messages and email, although the child should never be put in the position of being the messenger. If changes to a parenting plan need to be made, the parents should do so in writing or seek an order from the court. In the end, the relationship between those exercising parallel parenting is akin to a business relationship, rather than a personal relationship.

Whether a couple chooses co-parenting following a divorce or parallel parenting, what is ultimately important is that they are both acting in the best interests of the child. Children can recover from a divorce. What will negatively affect them is if their parents are constantly fighting, whether their parents are married or not. In the end, both co-parenting and parallel parenting allow the child to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, which is generally in the best interests of both the child and the parents.