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Co-parenting strategies may help ease family law negotiations

Whether it’s called co-parenting, joint parenting or shared parenting, learning to cooperate with an ex-spouse to raise children has benefits for all involved, not just the children. For many Illinois parents who have recently gone through a divorce, this approach to post-divorce relationships goes far beyond child custody issues and visitation guidelines. Learning to co-parent with an ex-spouse actually makes the parents learn to talk with one another instead of battling over issues.

The Journal of Family Psychology published a report in 2011 indicating that supportive co-parenting techniques following a divorce resulted in more involvement by the father, which tended to mitigate the negative effects of the breakup. Other benefits from reduced parental conflict included better behavior, academic achievement and psychological well-being among children. Divorced parents need to keep in mind that a working relationship with an ex-spouse should not specify a set amount of time. Children should not be used as bargaining chips or as a means to carry message to the other adult.

An essential component in successful co-parenting is acting maturely and securely while keeping the children’s best interests in mind. Co-parenting requires letting little things go and focusing on the children’s needs so that they feel comfortable while in the presence of either ex-spouse. Successful co-parenting can have positive ramifications in the initial stages of the divorce procedure too. Instead of adopting a hostile mindset, using the principles of co-parenting may actually help all parties going through child custody and other divorce-related issues.

A family law attorney may help clarify many different issues affecting spouses who divorce in Illinois while they focus on establishing a healthy co-parenting arrangement. These issues can include grandparents’ rights, visitation rights and divorce agreement modifications.

Source: Lancaster Online, “Learn to co-parent successfully after divorce”, Kimberly Marselas, July 23, 2013