Options when co-parenting does not work

Divorce is never easy. When there are children involved, parents who may have negative feelings toward one another must continue to maintain a relationship for the rest of their children’s lives. While most people would agree that having divorced parents work together in a relatively peaceful co-parenting arrangement is in the children’s best interest, the animosity that remains between the parents may make it difficult, it not impossible, for such an arrangement to be successful. The question for many parents in Missouri becomes, what are other ways to ensure that the best interests of the children are met when there is a great deal of conflict?

Though most admit that the transitions that come with a divorce are sometimes challenging for children, some argue that it is the conflict between parents that is the most damaging. Co-parenting involves parents who communicate regularly and openly with one another; they are often in agreement on rules and other child-rearing strategies. However, a high conflict situation may prevent a healthy co-parenting arrangement.

For some parents, a parallel parenting arrangement may be more appropriate. In this arrangement, parents disengage with one another; any communication between parents is business-like and professional and pertains only to issues related to the children. While they may agree on major issues impacting their children, they separate themselves from the daily minutiae and routine, such as whether play time is allowed before homework is completed.

One of the benefits of parallel parenting is that it may allows parents in Missouri to move toward a healthy co-parenting relationship. As the parents interact with one another, they often rebuild their trust toward one another, allowing them to interact more peacefully. Though parallel parenting is not a good option in all situations, for many parents, it may be the first step toward interactions with less — or no –conflict.

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