Splitting child custody and co-parenting with your ex-spouse can be challenging. However, working well with your ex-partner is critical for the health and well-being of the children. Your children need the two of you to get along. It is vital for their self-esteem, security, and overall well-being.
The good news it is possible to create a positive co-parenting environment for your children with hard work and discipline. Please continue reading to find out how. If you have child custody questions, the DuPage County child custody lawyer at Keller Legal Services can help.
There will be disagreements about childcare issues in a co-parenting arrangement. For example, one parent may want to educate the kids in a way that the other disagrees with. Or, one partner may want to take the children away during a holiday.
Whatever disagreements arise with your ex regarding the children, keep arguments away from the kids. If the parents need to discuss a severe childcare issue, it is best to do it away from the children. Perhaps set up a date to talk at a coffee shop or other public place.
If the disagreement cannot wait and happens in front of your children, both parties should keep their tempers. Experts say it can be helpful for children to see their parents work out a disagreement amicably.
Be careful about emailing and texting the other spouse. It is easy to say hurtful things in messages with an ex-partner. If you receive an upsetting message, take a breath and do not respond immediately. Furthermore, only deal with one major issue per conversation.
Creating a positive co-parenting environment also means never badmouthing your ex-spouse in front of the children. While it may feel good for a moment to unload on your ex in front of the kids, it teaches them to be disrespectful to others. Criticizing your ex in front of the children also can make them feel insecure.
A detailed co-parenting plan will make the entire process smoother and more favorable for the children. In addition, the more things are laid out on paper about what will happen, the lesser the chances for major disagreements later.
Some of the things that a co-parenting plan should cover include:
The more difficult the breakup, the more detailed the co-parenting plan should be. Having everything agreed to on paper should help to make the co-parenting environment more positive for the children.
You probably have some hard and fast rules in your home, such as the kids being in bed at 9 pm. Or, children are only allowed to watch TV for an hour per day and no fast food. But your ex-spouse may take them for fast food every week and let them stay up until 11 pm watching Netflix.
The co-parenting environment will suffer if you argue with your ex about every violation of your rules. Instead, be more flexible and let the small things go.
One of the most complex parts of divorce for the kids is it makes them feel insecure and out of control of their lives. Some things will change in their daily lives, such as where they live, sleep, go to school, etc. Holidays and vacations will be different than before.
You and your ex-partner can give the children agency and control over their lives. Do so by letting them take some things from one house and leave it at the other. If they leave an expensive new toy at your ex-husband’s apartment, so be it. Making small decisions about their own lives will give the children more security.
When everything is clear and organized, the co-parenting plan works better. You can keep track of medical appointments, pickups, school events, and more on phone apps. You can even use Google Calendar to do these things. When both parents can access the same app and are on the same page, the co-parenting environment is always better for the children.
After a nasty divorce, many parents think a co-parenting relationship means 50/50 with the kids. But that does not always make sense for the children. For example, if the father has to travel weekly for work, it could make sense for the children to be with the mother most of the week. Likewise, if your ex-wife has always taken the kids to their soccer practices, do your best to make that part of the plan.
When children see that Mom and Dad can agree on this type of arrangement, it will make the environment more positive for them. It will help if you inform the children at all times about who they will be with and when. Ask them for their input, too
Child custody battles are one of the most difficult parts of a divorce. Yet, for many parents, winning custody of their children is most important to them. Fortunately, the DuPage County child custody lawyers at Keller Legal Services have the experience and skill to help you. Our attorneys have helped DuPage County parents win child custody for over 30 years.
Our child custody lawyers serve the communities of Chicago, Naperville, Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Oak Brook, Aurora, Wheaton, Geneva, Orland Park, Joliet, Tinley Park, Woodridge, St. Charles, Elgin, and St. Charles. We also represent clients in DuPage County, Will County, and Kane County. Please contact Keller Legal Services today for a complimentary consultation about your child custody case. Call 630-505-1515