As an Illinois spouse who must experience a divorce when you still have children living at home, you know all too well that your divorce is not really final just because you have signed a settlement. Your child custody agreement and visitation schedule will be helpful in setting some parameters for how to balance parenting with a former spouse. However, these documents alone cannot really do the job for you. Effective co-parenting is a skill that requires great commitment on the part of both parents and a shared vision to work for the best interests of the child.
Psychology Today explains that one of the ways to make post-divorce co-parenting easier is to seek a less adversarial divorce. This lets you and your former spouse start off on a better foot than if you suffered through a long, drawn-out and contentious divorce. While the two of you will not agree on all things, you should pay special attention to avoid any criticism of each other in the presence of the kids. This includes being supportive of any new relationship that the other person engages in. The more open you are to these changes, the more you can help your children with accepting these new people into their lives.
Regarding schedules, try to set up your time for physical custody so that logistics like work, school, extracurricular activities and more are all considered. Keeping transitions between homes to a minimum is also helpful as it provides better stability for kids.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information on about how Illinois parents can make co-parenting work for them and for their children.