When the breakdown of a romantic relationship occurs, both parties may agree to remain co-parents. Co-parenting usually means that both parties will cooperate with each other and raise the child together, although co-parenting does not always mean that there will be a 50-50 split in parental responsibilities.
While co-parenting is a good goal, it can be easier said than done. Co-parenting is not right for every family.
Experts advise that parents follow these guidelines when attempting to co-parent:
- Treat the other parent as a colleague. This means you should be professional in living up to all of your parental duties. For example, if you agree to a drop off at a certain time, that time should be honored.
- Create a parenting plan. This may be above and beyond what is ordered by the court. You should take your time in developing this plan. Think about daily routines of the children as well as special days like holidays, birthdays, sporting events, and field trips. The general rule is that the more acrimonious the divorce was, the more detailed the plan should be.
- Do not get hung up on an exact 50-50 split. Co-parenting should be a fair arrangement; however, it is impossible to make both parents feel like they each have half the parenting time.
- Communication is the most important thing. Learning how to communicate in your role as co-parent can take some adjustments. There are professionals who can help. Also, be mindful of relying too much on text and email.
- Refrain from insulting the other parent in front of your children. This is typically against court orders, and it is also a bad practice. If your co-parent is continually letting you down, you should speak to him or her, or discuss your concerns with a friend, therapist or lawyer.
- Arrange for times to check-in with the other parent. Monthly meetings can be a great time to discuss any grievances you may have with the arrangement and discuss your children’s well-being.
Contact an Illinois Child Custody Lawyer
Another key to co-parenting is to have a child custody and support arrangement that works for your family. Poor arrangements can be detrimental to efforts to co-parent.
Unworkable arrangements can be the product of a court order or an agreement between parents. Often parents cannot predict what type of arrangement will work best, and in other cases, circumstances of the parents and children change. These are all valid reasons for seeking a change to a custody order.
With skilled legal counsel, it may be possible to change the arrangement, and it may be possible to do so without going to court. Call the experienced DuPage County family law attorneys at Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC today.