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How to Co-Parent Like an Expert

 Posted on December 27, 2017 in Child Custody

DuPage County family law attorneysIf you and your spouse have children together and are considering divorce, you probably have many concerns. Some parents worry that their children will be negatively affected by the divorce or think that it is their fault. Parents might worry about their ability to share responsibilities for the children and raise them the way they as parents always planned to, but separately.

Fortunately, there are many parents who get divorced and still manage to raise their children to be happy, healthy, and successful. In fact, for some parents, splitting up with their spouse turns out to give them more time to bond with their child and actually improves the parent-child relationship over the long run. There is no perfect way to co-parent with your ex-spouse but there are some guidelines set out by relationship and parenting experts that can help you create your own unique co-parenting style.

Communication Is Key

Almost every family expert will emphasize the importance of communication during and after a divorce. It is very possible that after a divorce, your ex-spouse is the last person that you want to talk to, but for the sake of the children, doing so is necessary. Commit to keeping an open dialogue with your ex-spouse and resist the temptation to shut him or her out completely.

When you do communicate, keep the focus of the conversation on the children. If your ex tries to dig up old drama from your marriage, gently bring the conversation back to what is important. You will probably never resolve all the disputes you and your ex have, but you can put them aside in order to focus on what really matters.

Be Consistent

Problems arise in co-parenting families when the one parent does not raise their children with the same rules and boundaries as the other parent. There is much evidence to show that children thrive when given healthy guidelines and limits. When one parent allows the child to do things that the other parent does not, it can cause resentment and confusion. Children are notorious for testing boundaries and attempting to “get away” with breaking the rules. Having a unified parenting plan can help prevent this.

Never Ask Your Child to Be an Intermediary

Kids are unnecessarily and unfairly burdened when parents ask them to be the messenger between the two adults. Children should not be inappropriately involved in adult conversations and decision-making. They should not be asked to “spy” on the other parent or to deliver information about him or her. Allowing children to be children means not forcing them to grow up too fast by saddling them with adult problems and concerns.

We Can Help

If you are a parent who is considering divorce, you do not have to navigate the process alone. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney to get the help you need. Call 630-352-2240 for a confidential consultation today. We will work with you and assist you in making the best possible decisions for yourself and your children.


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