Pennsylvania parents who have gone through divorce understand the role that resolving conflict, showing respect and planning play in successful co-parenting. During the custody arrangement, the court often makes decisions based on the willingness of both parents to work together with the best interests of their children in mind after divorce. The courts rarely grant sole custody to one parent unless there is clear evidence that giving the other parent custody would put the child at risk.

In an ideal world, divorced parents would be able to communicate with each other and resolve conflict easily for the best interests of their children. Unfortunately, some ex-spouses are not able to get past the hurt they felt during the marriage or during the divorce, and this inhibits communication. There is a danger that if parents do not get along, their arguing will negatively impact their children.

This is why mutual respect is vital if co-parenting is going to be successful. Both parents will need to respect the relationship that the other spouse has with the children. The parents will need to work together to encourage their children to maintain a healthy relationship with both parents.

This can only be done with communication and both parents putting the children first. Each parent must be willing to bend and cooperate. This differentiates co-parenting from parallel parenting. With parallel parenting, both parents interact with the children. However, their interaction with each other is very impersonal. It takes on a businesslike nature with each parent sharing only essential information with the other. Schedules may be shared via electronic means. With parallel parenting, it is unlikely that the parents will sit down and talk to each other face-to-face.

A family law attorney may help their client navigate some of the challenges connected to custody questions. When necessary, the attorney may represent their client in court, giving evidence that their client is a suitable guardian for their children. They may also help their client write up custody agreements and serve as a mediator between their client and the ex-spouse.