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Handling the challenges of co-parenting after a divorce

For any Illinois resident, a divorce can be a challenging experience, especially when children are involved. As parents usually look for ways to minimize the impact of a divorce on their kids and work together to help the children cope, following a few suggestions can make the process easier for everyone involved.

First, the parents should avoid laying blame on the other party, even if there is a legitimate reason for the divorce. Blaming others wastes energy that needs to be focused toward the children and can confuse kids who might feel like they have to hide their feelings or “choose” between the partners.

Second, parents need to work out a custody arrangement that is best for their kids. If the schedule needs to change, they need to assess how that affects the kids without letting hostility toward the other parent affect their response. The hectic pace of life and varying work schedules can mean that visitation agreements might need to be revisited. Fortunately, the courts make allowances for these difficulties.

Third, each parent may have unique parenting styles and run his or her household differently. Parents may need to let go of their need to control the child’s activities when they aren’t there and resolve differences with their former spouse agreeably.

Finally, parents need to realize that their former partner might begin dating someone else. If and when that happens, they need to meet the new person but find a way to do so in a non-threatening manner.

Co-parenting can present a unique set of challenges. A family attorney might be able to help parents resolve disagreements about visitation schedules and child custody arrangements as well as assist with drafting these significant documents.

Source: Fox News, “4 tips for parents going through divorce,” Tina Paone and Thomas Petrelli, April 21, 2013