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Minimizing Co-Parenting Conflicts

Posted on in Child Custody

Illinois child custody attorney, Illinois family law attorneyWorking together with your former spouse to effectively co-parent your children can be difficult. Sometimes, the issues that drove your marriage apart remain unresolved long after your divorce. Other issues might be resentment over how the divorce was settled or how your former partner is conducting his or her life now. Resentment can be a normal emotion, but it should not leak into your co-parenting agreement with your former partner.

Keeping your relationship with your former partner as free of conflict as possible is important for many reasons. As your children grow and face new challenges, like new levels of independence and choices about employment and higher education, you will need to be flexible with your parenting time schedule and expectations for your changing relationship with your child. It also makes it easier for you to look at issues that arise objectively, rather than emotionally. This skill will make it easy to determine whether an issue requires intervention from the court to resolve.

Keep Your Child out of It

If you need to address a perceived problem with your former partner, do it when your child is not present. Schedule a phone call out of your child's earshot or a brief, adults-only meeting when transferring your child for your former partner's parenting time. If your former partner attempts to use your child to instigate or perpetuate a conflict between the two of you, do not engage in this tactic. Address adult issues with your former spouse, rather than your child.

Be Supportive of Your Former Spouse

When discussing your former spouse with your child, do not speak badly about him or her. Instead, support his or her parenting decisions or at the very least, remain neutral in your assessment of his or her choices. Children are extremely perceptive to how their parents speak to and about each other and badmouthing an ex can lead to a child viewing his or her parents in a black and white way, with one “good” parent and one “bad” parent.

Express Your Concerns and Your Needs, but Be Open Minded

Being open minded is not the same as being a doormat. It means acknowledging that your child's other parent is also a capable parent and even when his or her parenting style differs from yours, it is just as valuable to your child's well being as your own parenting style. This is not to say to ignore any red flags you notice or let your concerns go unheard – it simply means that in order to reduce conflict between yourself and your former partner, it is most productive for you to approach discussions with an open mind, rather than automatically accusing your former spouse of wrongdoing or becoming defensive if he or she expresses a concern to you.

Work with a Kane County Family Attorney

For legal guidance as you navigate the often-tricky world of parenting after a divorce, contact our firm of experienced Kane County family attorneys at our family law firm. We can answer your questions and advocate for you and your child in the event that a co-parenting issue escalates to the point of involving the court. Contact our firm today to schedule your free legal consultation with us.



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