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Choosing a parenting arrangement isn't always simple

In the past, parents who weren't married used a basic formula of custody that involved the mother having the child for the overwhelming majority of the time. It wasn't uncommon for a father to only see his children once every two weeks, for a couple of weeks during the summer, and every other holiday. As society has changed, this arrangement has taken a back burner to some more child-friendly arrangements.

When you and your child's other parent are trying to work out a parenting plan, one question that comes up is what type of parenting arrangement will be in play. Traditional joint custody requires very little interaction between the parents, but this isn't the right style for everyone. Co-parenting, which involves more cooperation between parents, is becoming more common.

Specifics of co-parenting

There are two types of co-parenting arrangements that are common these days. One is a basic type that means the parents work as a team to ensure the child gets to activities and has support. Both parents help with homework and show up to events like school plays. It isn't uncommon to see co-parents together with the child, but the togetherness is only for the child's sake as there isn't any romantic involvement. Each parent maintains a home and the child moves between those homes.

The other type of co-parenting is referred to as bird's nest co-parenting. In this type, the child lives at one home and the parents are the ones who move in and out of the home. Whichever parent is enjoying parenting time is the parent who is sleeping in the home with the child and using that house. That parent leaves the house when the other parent comes in to have parenting time. This requires the parents to have another home or two, depending on the circumstances.

Working through the challenges

No matter which type of co-parenting arrangement you choose, if co-parenting is even your choice, you will have to work closely with your ex. Both of you will determine the rules and expectations for the child. This can sometimes mean compromise, but it does provide the children with more stability than what is possible with other parenting arrangements.

The main things to remember when co-parenting are that the adults must remain respectful and flexibility is going to make everything easier. Ultimately, you need to put yourself aside and think about what is best for your children when you are making decisions about this type of co-parenting.

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