Co-Parenting: Living Together or Separately?

Co-parenting is an interesting alternative for enjoying parenthood without enduring the drawbacks of marriage. Fortunately, today’s society is more open and accepting of new family configurations. However, the practice of this recent system remains unclear for the majority of parents. Firstly, the issue of the child’s residence poses a problem. How do you decide on their primary living arrangement? Is it necessary for both parents to live together to raise the child together, as in a traditional family? These are questions that deserve clarification. Follow our article to learn more.

What is Co-parenting?

Co-parenting is a parenting system where you are not necessarily a romantic couple, and marriage is not a requirement. It involves two adult individuals who agree to raise one or more children together. The desire for a child is the driving force, and there are various ways to make it happen. Each co-parenting arrangement has its own unique story, and the means of having a child may vary.

Co-parenting in the Case of Divorce or Separation

Most often, co-parenting comes into play when a separated couple has had children together during their time together. When the separation or divorce occurs, co-parenting becomes effective. Both individuals retain the parental status and authority they had during their time together. Only a judge can remove parental rights from someone if they believe that person is unfit to fulfill their parental role.

Co-parenting for Singles

The desire to start a family may be common for many individuals, but not everyone wants a partner. The traditional notion of a family consisting of a father, mother, and children needs to be reexamined. Modern family structures can take various forms, such as a loving couple, a single parent and child, or even friends without a biological relationship.

It is entirely possible to choose co-parenting long before the baby arrives. You can come to an agreement with friends to adopt or, why not, have a child through natural means. You can also meet another single person on a specialized co-parenting dating website, such as Coparentalys.

Co-parenting for Couples

Married or legally partnered couples who cannot have children naturally often turn to co-parenting instead of adoption. They find different advantages in this approach, including administrative simplicity, as a simple verbal agreement is sufficient.

Since the biological parent retains parental rights, only one member of the couple needs to be legally affiliated with the child. As a result, a heterosexual or homosexual couple can come to an agreement with another couple or a single person to have a child either naturally or through artificial insemination. However, it’s essential to be cautious and avoid engaging in ethically questionable practices, such as signing a co-parenting agreement in exchange for money.

Primary Residence: Living Together

It is entirely possible to live under the same roof, even if you are not a romantic couple. This is especially easy if you are friends who have agreed to have a child together. In such a case, you are on good terms and can cohabit peacefully.

Advantages of Living Together with the Co-parent

Living together is closer to the original family configuration, which can be more beneficial for the child’s psychological stability. Both parents are present, and the child can interact with them throughout the day.

If you decided on co-parenting before the baby’s arrival, having a single residence for all three of you would facilitate the early care of the newborn. At this young age, the child requires a lot of attention, and a single parent might struggle, especially during the night. Therefore, if both parents live in the same house, each can participate equally.

Furthermore, affection develops during the first few months of a child’s life. Skin-to-skin contact is essential for the baby to recognize and bond with you. Similarly, taking care of the baby promotes the secretion of prolactin and oxytocin, which are the hormones of love. It’s evident that moving a newborn from one house to another is not recommended.

Living under the same roof is beneficial for joint parental authority. If both parents live in the same house, they can make decisions together. While the risk of unbalanced influence on the child is minimal, it doesn’t eliminate the possibility entirely. On the other hand, if one parent has primary custody, the other may lose their bond with the child and a significant portion of their natural authority.

How to Succeed in Co-Parenting as Roommates?

Co-Parenting as roommates is only possible if you get along well. It is not recommended for divorced or separated individuals. It’s also not a good idea to live together if you are in a romantic relationship. Thus, co-parenting as roommates is intended for single individuals.

To succeed in co-parenting as roommates, you need to agree on certain rules. First and foremost, you must decide on the residence. You should choose a location that suits the daily routines of both individuals, ideally not far from their workplaces. Each parent should have their own bedroom, as privacy is crucial since the only thing connecting you is the child.

Even before starting co-parenting, you should have discussed financial matters. You must share responsibility according to your respective situations. There are no fixed rules for this; it’s essential to remember that both of you are responsible for the child’s education, health, and well-being. You can choose an equitable or egalitarian sharing arrangement.

Separated Co-Parenting: Two Residences

The majority of co-parents live in separate residences. They might live in the same neighborhood or in different cities, depending on their individual choices, and no law dictates with whom the children should live (except in exceptional court orders). However, the child’s primary residence must be agreed upon by both parents.

Advantages of Living Separately

The privacy of each parent is the primary advantage of this approach. When living under the same roof, there can be a temptation to interfere in each other’s lives, leading to tensions that might not be beneficial for the child’s well-being.

Living separately also provides each parent with a certain level of freedom in parenting. While significant decisions require both parents’ agreement, each has the freedom to handle day-to-day aspects like outings, meals, and bedtime according to their own judgment.

How to Succeed in Separated Co-Parenting?

Following a bilateral agreement, the child may live exclusively with one parent. The other parent can visit as often as they wish and have the child for vacations or special occasions. The “weekend every two weeks” system also proves effective for successful co-parenting. Another approach is a balanced sharing arrangement where the child spends equal time in each parent’s home.

Even though you don’t live in the same house and have custody of the child during different periods, it is wise to agree on basic rules. The child should not be allowed to break the rules that reflect your common values. Respect and transparency are essential aspects of successful co-parenting.