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Ways divorced parents can co-parent more effectively

There’s no doubt that parenting comes with many challenges. From being up all night during the early years to the moody and sullen teen years, most Illinois parents can commiserate on the highs and lows associated with being a parent. While parenting as a team can be difficult, couples who divorce often face additional challenges as they must also learn to effectively co-parent with an ex-spouse.

Depending on the circumstances that lead to the end of a marriage, it can be difficult for ex-spouses to set aside personal feelings and emotions. However, for the sake of shared children, divorced parents must learn how to communicate with one another in a civil manner.

Children learn from their parents. It’s important, therefore, that parents provide a good model for how to get along even if it’s difficult at times. To make it easier, parents should at all times remember what’s really important, namely the wellbeing of the children.

There are several things divorced parents can do to improve how they communicate with one another with regard to shared children. For example, taking the time to plan a special birthday or event for a child can help take the focus off of a strained relationship and back on the child. Additionally, when communicating it’s best to keep things civil and almost business-like. Sticking to the facts and not allowing emotions or assumptions to reign is key.

It’s also helpful if divorced parents take the time to truly enjoy their children and share that joy with one another. Taking the time to send a photo or quick email about something a child did or said to an ex-spouse again puts the children first and helps both parents continue to feel included.

Source: The Huffington Post, “No More Ex Games,” Louis Tarter, Jan. 26, 2013