Co-parenting is not always easy. It requires patience, sacrifice and empathy towards your ex-spouse, as impossible as that may seem.
According to 750 ILCS Sec. 602.5(a), the court grants decision-making capabilities according to how the child’s best interest. This should inform all your actions as a parent. Never forget the guiding principle of your child’s best interest, especially when dealing with the following co-parenting struggles.
Dividing responsibilities fairly
Too often, one parent ends up handling all the childrearing responsibilities. You or your ex-spouse might attribute this to a busy career or lack of time. Work with your child’s parent to develop a reasonable division of tasks that does not leave one parent feeling like the sole caretaker. It might not be consistent every week but always strive towards fairness.
Letting go of resentment
You got a divorce for a reason, but do not let resentment seep into the relationship with your children. Do not complain to your child about your ex-spouse. This makes your child feel like they have to pick sides and leads to more problems in the future.
Dating new people
The introduction of a new partner is a sensitive subject. It takes time for your child to adjust to the new reality. Do not expect them to accept your new significant other right away. Consider your child’s feelings and consult with your ex-spouse before introducing a new partner. Set up boundaries right away, and do not be afraid to let your child express their worries if they are old enough.
There is no perfect solution for co-parenting after a divorce. However, communication and acceptance of the imperfect are crucial. As time passes, you can develop a healthy routine for everyone involved.