Many parents (wrongfully) believe that divorce is the most difficult part of a separation for children. However, the co-parenting that follows can often be even more of a challenge. This is especially true if parents are unwilling or unable to work together in the best interests of the children.
Whether in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, or Will County, your divorce must focus on negotiating effective co-parenting arrangements with your former spouse. By doing so, you will make life after the divorce better for both yourself and your children.
Commit to Keeping an Open Dialogue With Your Former Spouse
The most significant problem with any co-parenting situation is communication. During a divorce, some spouses are able to continue speaking whereas others don’t and are forced to use a court-ordered platform, like Talking Parents, to do so.
Regardless of how you speak, you must actually speak to your former spouse. This means that whether through email, phone, letters, or otherwise, you need a place to discuss your children’s lives and to exchange vital information (like schedules, etc.).
Agree Upon Rules and Enforce Them Jointly
If one parent imposes no bedtime on children and the other parent has strict rules, children may develop favoritism and may also struggle with an inconsistent routine. The same goes for other routine tasks like homework and even after-school activities.
Agreeing upon a schedule and some ground rules with your former spouse is important both for parents and children. If it’s possible, you should always enforce these rules jointly so children never have mixed expectations.
Keep Things Positive
While most parenting agreements will include language forbidding you to disparage your former spouse in front of the children, you should do more than that. If your children ever say anything negative about your former spouse, you should make a dedicated effort to correct them.
Agree on Behavioral Guidelines
Aside from a set schedule, there should be behavioral guidelines both you and your spouse enforce as well. This offers children the perception of a unified parenting front that will encourage positive behavior and avoid confusion at home.
For example, if children are required to eat at the dinner table at one house, they should do so at the other as well. Of course, this requires cooperation and coordination of spouses. But, if you’re interested in what’s best for your children, you’ll make it work.
Acknowledge That Co-Parenting Will Always be a Challenge
Co-parenting will challenge you. It is difficult to work with a former spouse, especially if you still have ill feelings toward each other. However, the best thing you can do is acknowledge that there will be challenges and take steps to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact either you or your children.
Take challenges and set-backs in stride and always work to maintain normalcy after your divorce.
Contact Your Divorce Attorney in Naperville, Wheaton, St. Charles, or Any Number of Other Cities
At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., we’re proud to serve clients in Naperville, Wheaton, St. Charles, and beyond. By relying on over 35 years of experience in divorce and family law, we ensure you receive assistance that is knowledgeable, transparent, and supportive.
If you have questions about co-parenting or how parenting agreements work in divorce, contact the team at Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. You can call us at 630-470-9990 to set up your free, 30-minute consultation with Larry or you may do so online as well.
We look forward to speaking with you and offering assistance that best suits your needs.