When you have minor children from your relationship and you go through a divorce or separation, the prospect of co-parenting is never easy. Even if you have a relatively good working relationship with your ex, there are so many complications associated with co-parenting, and most courts want to ensure that both parents play an active role in their kids’ lives. Yet you can take steps to make co-parenting easier. Under Illinois law, courts will not award child custody. Instead, you should be aware that your co-parenting situation in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois will involve a parenting plan or allocation judgment through which parental responsibilities are allocated. Parents can share both significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time.
How can you make co-parenting work once parental responsibilities have been allocated? The following are some key tips to consider.
For many couples who are co-parenting after a divorce or separation, the first and overarching tip is to focus on your child’s needs (or the needs of your children, if you have more than one minor child from your relationship). By centering the needs of your child, it can be easier to focus on what is best for your child in a particular circumstance instead of identifying a problem for you or the way in which your ex’s behavior is frustrating or angering you.
In terms of focusing on your child’s needs, it is important to do your best to put aside your own anger or resentment, especially when it comes to your outward behavior. Even if you are still feeling angry or frustrated with your ex, focus on your child’s needs and work to find other outlets for your feelings, such as speaking with friends or working with a therapist. Do your best to avoid discussing any feelings of bitterness around your child to ensure that your child is able to maintain a healthy relationship with both parents.
Communicating with your ex after a divorce can be difficult and complicated. Yet there are more ways to communicate than by phone or in-person contact. You should consider communication via text or email to avoid any kind of face-to-face confrontations, especially since electronic communication can allow you to stick to the business of co-parenting. There are also apps that can make the communication process easier when it comes to co-parenting.
When and where you can, reach an agreement with your ex about important decisions concerning co-parenting, such as your child’s chores, as well as rules and disciplinary measures. Consistency across your households can greatly benefit your child and can make co-parenting easier and more effective.
Do you have questions about effective co-parenting or the best methods for sharing parental responsibilities that include significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time? One of the experienced Chicago child custody attorneys at our firm can begin working with you today on your case. Contact the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group for more information about co-parenting after a separation or divorce.
There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.
“When I needed a family lawyer, I trusted the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group and you can too.” Dr. Debra Thomas – Orthopedic Surgeon – 1988 U.S. Olympic Bronze Medalist”
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