In Illinois, courts have a strong preference for awarding joint custody so that both parents may play an active role in their child's life. While you may want as little to do with your ex-spouse as possible, if you share child custody or are currently working through a custody dispute, it is likely that you will need to maintain some form of communication. Although it can be challenging, working with your ex in order to develop an effective co-parenting (or joint parenting) plan can be tremendously beneficial to your child's life and wellbeing. Below are four tips to help with co-parenting.
- Find a method of communication that works: Whether it is more effective to talk on the phone, meet in person, or converse through emails, it is important to find a method of communication that works for both of you. While you don't have to have direct contact, keeping an open discussion can help to maintain effective co-parenting.
- Agree on a child's boundaries: Children are smart and it is likely that they will attempt to test their boundaries with each parent. By agreeing with your spouse on what behaviors are acceptable, you can help to keep rules consistent between households. Furthermore, do not attempt to "get back" at your spouse or gain favor with your child by going against the agreed upon boundaries.
- Do not bring your child into your divorce: While it is true that talking to someone about your post-divorce issues can be healthy, your child is not that person. The truth is that any ideas you communicate to your child can greatly influence their opinions. When you introduce negative ideas about your spouse to your child, you may be damaging the parent-child relationship.
- Don't be afraid to create detailed plans: In some situations, if may be good to see how things play out, however, don't underestimate the power of a detailed plan. The holidays, for example, can be an emotional and stressful time. Deciding early on how each holiday and school vacation will affect custody can help to prevent costly and time-consuming disputes down the line.
Questions about Child Custody?
During a divorce, it can be incredibly difficult to arrive at custody solutions which work for you, your ex-spouse, and your children. While parents may both want what is in the best interest of their child, feelings of frustration and anger can often hinder the success of an arrangement. If you are going through a custody dispute, or you want to modify the terms of an existing agreement, do not hesitate to contact my firm. I am an experienced Aurora divorce attorney who can provide effective legal guidance through all family law processes.
Call (630) 454-4039 today or contact my firm online to discover your legal options.