During and after an Illinois divorce, parents will often feel some hostility towards each other. Even when using lower-conflict divorce methods like mediation, spouses may disagree strongly about what they want and what is best for their child. But despite their differences, most parents will agree that working together to share parental responsibilities is in a child’s best interests.
One crucial factor in providing a child with the best experience possible during and after a divorce is making sure that parents are not negative in their treatment toward and about each other. This is not always easy, but it can be done. Here are some tips for establishing healthy communication with your co-parent.
Never Fight In Front of Your Child
Disagreements are bound to come up, but they should take place only in a context where a child cannot hear you. Even when you are feeling hurt and angry, wait to discuss problems until you know you have privacy. A child does not have the wisdom or the tools to understand parental conflict. Arguing parents can be very scary, and children will often blame themselves for disagreements about child-rearing.
Stay On Topic
During arguments about co-parenting, it is easy to let blame and past hurt bubble up to the surface. But allowing problems from the past to influence your communication now will not make anything better–it can only make things worse. Stay focused on the topic at hand, and work toward a resolution that works for both of you. When the conversation is over, end it.
Set Clear Boundaries
Experts recommend treating your relationship with your ex-spouse as you would a business relationship: formal, professional, and clear-cut. You could even have a special email address that you only use to discuss your shared child-rearing. Communicate during normal business hours so as to avoid late-night disputes, and keep your tone calm and informative.
Play the Long Game
Your child–and therefore, your co-parent–is going to be in your life for a long time. Even after a child has reached 18, your co-parent will likely be involved in your child’s college, marriage, and any grandchildren you may have. Shift your thinking now towards a long-term perspective. It is easier to reach a compromise when you can remember that something that feels important right now may not be very important at all in the long run.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Family Law Attorney
If you are getting a divorce or you are renegotiating a parental agreement, Andrew Cores Family Law Group can help. Our skilled team of DuPage County family law attorneys can help you during and after your divorce. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation at 630-871-1002.