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Co-Parenting after Divorce: Joint Custody Arrangements on the Rise

Posted on in Child Custody

joint custody after divorceDivorce is painful, sometimes unexpected, financially and emotionally draining and, most often, difficult on the children involved. Fortunately, the concept of shared joint custody between two responsible parents is on the rise.

For those residing in Illinois, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) recognizes joint custody as one of the two basics forms of child custody, the other being sole custody.

When it works well, joint custody permits continuing involvement of both parents in the lives of their children, providing them with a more encouraging outlook for the future.

Establishing joint custody with a former spouse takes hard work. You need to maintain the strong devotion to your children and possess the ability to keep your personal emotions in check as you opt for variable compromises throughout the process.

Remember, this is not going to be easy. You will need to confer and consult with a former partner who may not be high on your likeability scale. For those wishing to venture into this type of arrangement, Parents magazine offers the following tips.

Play Nice

Remember when mom reminded you that if you did not have anything nice to say, then keep quiet? The same premise works wonders when dealing with joint custody arrangements. Regardless of your feelings, your former spouse is the co-parent of your children, and experts agree it is best to curtail your personal feelings around the kids.

No, It Is Not All About You

Your divorce may have been difficult, but maintaining strong parental relationships for your children is in their best interest. Although divorce often fixates itself on our trials and tribulations as a parent, you need to maintain a consistent and happy childhood for your children. Your kids are not the prize, but your responsibility. Set aside your ego and be open to your kids having equal time with both you and your former spouse.

Spouse Behaving Badly

Of course, there was a reason you decided to seek the services of a qualified divorce attorney, but that does not necessarily mean that your former spouse is automatically a bad parent. No matter the situation, children of divorce want, crave, and need the attention of both parents.

Sharpen Your Communication Skills

This may have fallen on deaf ears during the demise of your marriage, but both you and your former spouse need to find middle ground when it comes to communication regarding the kids. If you find it hard to communicate face to face, do it electronically with either texts or emails. Also, while co-parenting, both you and your former spouse should encourage and value input from your kids.

Choose Your Battles Carefully

Face it, parenting is tough. Co-parenting often adds another layer of complexity to your already hectic schedule. Once again, keep your emotions in check while you are hesitant about a situation and try to rationalize your defense. If you find resistance, just ask yourself if the situation is worth starting a parenting war. On the other hand, do not give in if the issue at hand is of importance, such as school, medical decisions, or a situation that definitely breaks the rules.

Divorce changes life, no doubt about that. How divorce affects our kids has been fully researched, and study after study supports that divorce remains a delicate and emotional experience for both the parents as well as the kids. Keeping things at an even keel while maintaining joint custody is one of the greatest gifts you and your former spouse can achieve to ensure your children’s emotional stability.

If you reside in Illinois and need more information on how effective joint custody can work for you, consider contacting a licensed psychologist experienced in joint parenting for divorced families. If you are currently contemplating divorce and need legal advice as well as additional information on joint custody in Illinois, consider contacting an experienced Illinois family law attorney. The legal team of A.Traub & Associates have been serving Illinois residents throughout Lombard and the surrounding areas since 2001. Our attorneys are dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal counsel in all matters of family law. Contact our firm to schedule your initial consultation today.

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