Unless you have extenuating circumstances, odds are that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will share parental responsibilities of your children. In an amicable divorce, this might not be a problem. But how does that work when you can barely stand to be in the same room together? When there are so many hurt and angry feelings? The trick is to know where the focus should be.
No matter what happened in your marriage, no matter how poor of a spouse your ex is, it is important to remember that the time after the divorce is no longer about you as a couple; it is now about your child and what your child needs from each of you. That means that, whenever you are tempted to lash out at your ex, you leave your child out of it. When you are struggling to reach an agreement about who will take your child next holiday or over the summer, you try to think of what is best for your child. And, when you speak about your ex and your child is around, keep in mind that you are talking about their other parent and the words that you say can hurt.
Accommodate Your Child’s Needs, Age, and Activities
Different children at different ages will need different things. As an example, mental health experts say that younger children typically need to switch between parents more frequently while older children often do well with switching once a week. It is also important to consider any special needs your child might have. If, for example, your child needs around the clock care and one parent works more than the other, the parent who has more time to devote to care might be best suited to have the child more often.
Choose Your Battles Wisely
Parenting is hard; co-parenting can be harder. Effective communication can help to keep things amicable, but disagreements and conflicts will still happen. When they do, try to think rationally about the matter from both angles. Consider whether or not the issue is really one worth fighting for. And remember that, should a judge have to decide for you, neither you nor your spouse may like the final decision. Even more discouraging is that your child may not like the decision either.
Do you need help working through the parenting time plan for your divorce? Are you struggling to come to an agreement? The DuPage County divorce attorneys of Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Backed by more than 40 years of experience, we provide our clients with full-service family legal representation and personalized services to meet their needs. Get help with child custody or allocation of parental responsibilities by calling 630-932-9100 to schedule your free initial consultation today.
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