Even after a divorce, children need to feel that their Illinois parents are both committed to them as a family. Remembering this and presenting this united front when it comes to important decisions and household rules and routines can show the children your commitment.
A developed parenting plan is the best guide
While a parenting plan can be a basic tool to guide you and is usually included as part of your divorce settlement, you can also work together to go beyond the basic requirements and create a document that will help you raise healthy, happy children and prevent unnecessary parenting conflicts in the future. Some of the things you can address in the parenting plan include:
- Agreements on how to handle birthdays, holidays and other special events
- A list of routines, rules and chores that children will follow in both homes
- Clear methods of parental communication as well as the topics that can be discussed
- Information on when and how to introduce new partners to the children
Hone your adult communication skills
Even with a great parenting plan, divorced parents might struggle to communicate. However, positive, open communication between the parents when it comes to their children is another factor that will impact how successful your co-parenting is. As part of the parenting plan, co-parents can figure out how often they will communicate regarding the children, what they will need to communicate about and the methods they will use. They can opt to always speak in person or over the phone, but, particularly for ex-spouses who struggle to talk civilly to each other, they might opt for email, texts or another family communication app.
Co-parenting can be challenging. However, if you are committed to the children and can be flexible and understanding about what is best for them, you can succeed.