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Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Parents

Joint Custody and Co-Parenting Tips

After a divorce, co-parenting can be complex and difficult to navigate. Not everyone can maintain a friendship with their ex after a divorce, but rest assured, you can still work as a team without being the best of friends. It’s important to be honest with yourself and set realistic communication boundaries. You are not alone in your struggle, and we’ve put together tips and tricks to help you successfully navigate your co-parenting relationship with your ex.

What Is Co-Parenting?

Co-parenting is an arrangement between parents as they raise their child with shared responsibilities. Healthy co-parenting will help your child feel confident and boost their self-esteem, helping them adjust quicker to their new living arrangements. It is crucial to establish set rules, rewards, and discipline standards after filing for a divorce so your child knows what is expected of them and how each parent will react. Cooperating as a team and keeping consistency across parents’ households will minimize confusion and provide your child with a consistent and loving environment.

Benefits of Co-Parenting with Your Ex

Your child’s future should be at the forefront of every conversation with your ex. When you and your ex communicate peacefully, your child will feel loved and supported by both parents. They are always watching and understand more than we often realize. Establishing healthy communication while co-parenting with your ex sets a good example for your child to learn how to build and maintain future relationships.

When you can communicate with your ex for the benefit of your child, you are showing them that they are more important than the issues that caused the divorce. According to a study published in the journal Child Development, children who are exposed to parental conflict are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues by seventh grade. Healthy co-parenting fosters emotional stability in your child and allows both parents to have a strong relationship with their child.

Tips to Share Joint Custody Successfully

Every relationship is different, and what works for one person may not work for everyone. Shifting from a romantic to a platonic relationship with your ex will take time, and you may need to try different approaches to find what works best for you. We’ve put together some tips that will help you and your ex successfully navigate joint parenting:

  1. Separate your past relationship from your new co-parenting relationship with your ex. Create one built off the well-being of your child instead of personal interest.
  2. Adjust your mindset before speaking with your ex. Not every conversation will go smoothly, but it’s important to always be respectful towards them.
  3. Before communicating with your ex, ask how your actions may affect your child’s well-being, and keep all conversations centered around your child.
  4. Speak like colleagues, set a business tone, and keep conversations professional.
  5. Listen to what concerns your ex is voicing, and phrase what you want to say as requests instead of statements. Try using phrases such as, “Can we try….” and “Would you be willing to…”

Resources to Support Your Co-Parenting Journey

The Illinois Supreme Court requires that all parents attend a parenting course regardless of the circumstances surrounding the divorce. All parents must attend a four-hour class no later than 60 days after the initial case conference with a family law attorney. For more advice on navigating the challenges of co-parenting, we recommend looking at some of the following resources:

At Strieker Law, we understand how stressful divorces can be and offer mediation services for you and your ex. Meeting with a mediator can help work through any issues or concerns and sets the groundwork for a healthy co-parenting relationship. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team members, as our goal is for you to feel confident in your decisions and throughout your divorce.

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