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Posted on in Children of Divorce

co-parenting, Rolling Meadows family law attorneysIf you are getting a divorce or have decided for certain to end your marriage, you may have apprehensions about how you and your spouse will raise your children. If you want to share parental responsibilities and parenting time, formerly called custody and visitation, you will need to find a way to co-parent that meets your child’s needs. Of course, cooperating with an ex-spouse can be extremely difficult. No co-parenting arrangement is perfect, but there are some things you can to do help make your co-parenting relationship with your ex as amicable and effective as possible. Read on to learn some of the top co-parenting tips from child development and mental health experts.

Do Not Disrespect Your Ex in Front of Your Children

It can be nearly impossible to keep quiet about frustrations involving an ex-spouse. If your marriage ended because of infidelity, deceit, or another hurtful behavior, you may be understandably furious at your ex-spouse. However, bad-mouthing your ex in front of your children will only make the situation worse. Children who hear parents talking negatively about each other may feel like they have to choose sides. Furthermore, when a parent talks badly about the other parent to the point that it encourages a child to turn against the other parent, it can be considered “parental alienation.” In extreme cases, parental alienation can lead to the loss of your parental rights.


Many couples who are considering divorce fear for their children’s well-being. Divorce can be extremely tough on a child, as virtually everything about his or her life may change. A new study suggests that a hostile divorce can even affect a child’s physical health.

Physiological Effects of Divorce?

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh quarantined 201 healthy adults and exposed them to a strain of the common cold virus. They then checked for signs of respiratory distress or illness. Of the study’s participants, some grew up in a two-parent household while others came from divorced families. A portion of those from divorced families came from amiable situations with both parents continuing to have healthy levels of non-hostile communication. Other adults in the study had two parents who never spoke to each other after their divorce, and deep tension persisted in their families.


children, Rolling Meadows divorce attorneyA divorce is almost always incredibly stressful for everyone involved. Young children, however, often experience the most serious challenges adjusting to all of the changes. A divorce can also affect a child for years to come after the final decree is entered. There are a number of things that you can do as a parent can help your child manage the reality of your divorce.

Listen to Their Concerns and Problems

As with adults, children feel most loved and cared for if they feel that that their parents are listening to them. This is more than just letting them talk. Listening means that you must show you understand what they are worried about and refrain from expressing judgment. While you may be able to offer solutions, your children should not be made to feel guilty about their thoughts and feelings.


parenting style, Rolling Meadows family lawyersDifferences in values and parenting philosophies can cause conflicts between two people. Not only can these differences cause difficulties with parenting after a divorce, they can be part of the reason why a couple divorced in the first place. But as a divorced parent, working cooperatively with your former spouse for your child's benefit is an important skill to develop

One way to reduce co-parenting conflicts is to understand your parenting style and that of your former partner. Developmental psychologists have identified four distinct parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. Most parents' individual styles fall somewhere between two or more of these archetypes. By recognizing where your parenting style falls as well as your former partner's parenting style, you can develop a coherent parenting plan that works for all members of your family.


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