The Post-Divorce-Parenting Glossary

Divorced-Parenting Term


   What is co-parenting?

   Co-parenting is a type of divorced or separated parenting arrangement where both parents attempt to have shared responsibility for their children's upbringing.  However, co-parenting really relates to a broader concept and is apart of a larger societal movement in how parents approach divorced or separated parenting. 


   Increasingly courts and parents are considering how to shift from conflict to a co-parenting relationship between two divorced or separated parents.  This difference has followed the courts emphasis over time on what is in the best interests of the child as the basis of decisions related to custody matters.  Co-parenting naturally follows this philosophy when parents place their children's needs and interests before any conflict they mave have between them.  Co-parenting works best with a parenting agreement between the two parties involved so issues can be understood before problems arise. 
   Co-parenting involves the 4 “C's”:
   If parents do not agree to work together for the purpose of raising their children, they cannot effectively co-parent.
   An absolute must to working together involves communication.  Communication does not have to be via voice.  Using email, text messaging, or post-divorce websites like can help divorced or separated parents effectively communicate with less conflict.
   Both parents must be in the mindset that they are willing to acquiesce on issues where they disagree with the other parent.  This doesn't mean they should cave on every issue - only that they should not always assume their way is the only way.
   If parents have vastly different rules in different households, they send an inconsistent message to their children, which confuses them and causes stress for everyone involved.  It is important to have a fairly common parenting strategy between the two households if the parents wish to co-parent effectively.


   What are the benfits of a co-parenting relationship?
   Co-parenting allows joint custody to all of the parties involved even after divorce. If there was an acrimonious split, the children will still be able to enjoy the protection and a good relationship with both of the parents. It is usually a difficult time to get accustomed to a separation or divorce. Yet at the core of it, it is the children who suffer most because of the divorce. As such, co-parenting helps ensure that the children will have their needs met, despite the divorce or separation. The child will be in a position to maintain a stable relationship with the parents. Putting the child’s interests first is the core idea behind successful co-parenting.
   The following are benefits to co-parenting arrangements:

  •        Children will grow to feel that they are more important to their parents than anything, and the conflict that brought on the divorce is not the end of the family.
  •        The children are more likely to feel secure physically, emotionally and financially. The confidence and love from the two parents may enable the children to adjust more easily to the new environment.
  •        It fosters discipline and help the children understand what they can expect from the parents.
  •        The children can see their parents working together for their sake, and they can better learn how to solve their problems amicably.
  •        It can establish healthy life-patterns that the children can learn to emulate.


This link to Psychology Today provides a variety of articles on co-parenting as well as parental alienation
Psychology Today offers current information and the latest research on a whole host of psychological matters. offers up to date information with this article on co-parenting tips.
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