What is Co-Parenting After A Divorce?

Co-Parenting Father with Daughter

When parents’ divorce, a major concern is how to best provide for the interests of the children. Good co-parenting with your ex-spouse can be extremely effective, and help you and your children mentally, emotionally, and financially. Co-parenting fills the gap of how to best provide for your kids.  Here are a few common questions and issues addressed about co-parenting.

What is Co-Parenting?

Co-parenting means that both parents are involved in the decisions made for the child. This means major decisions like medical, educational, religious, or activities, or even down to the courses a child selects in school and all the other important decisions that parents are involved in.  Co-parenting means being able to communicate with your ex on child issues because it is in the best interests of the child.

Communication in Co-Parenting

It is common for both parents to not want to talk to each other anymore after a divorce. Although animosity is entirely normal, you still need to communicate if you are going to be good co-parents. There are tools that can make it easier, like Our Family Wizard or Talking Parents that allow for better and more effective communication than text message or email.

Part of being a good co-parent is shifting the mentality from a marriage being about the couple and the children to a co-parenting mentality which is all about the children. This kind of shift makes it easier for parents to speak to each other because they’re talking about a thing that both of them are interested in which is their children and making sure their children are doing well.

Dealing with Different Views of Parenting

Communication is important, but it can still be difficult if the parents have different views of parenting. It is even more difficult if that was the reason the people got divorced.  In a co-parenting situation, one person is not making unilateral decisions. For people who really cannot do this, in Chicago, there are parenting coordinators that the court can appoint either by agreement or with the parties’ input to basically coordinate their children’s lives when they can’t do it themselves.

The Benefit of Collaborative Divorce in Co-Parenting

Collaborative Divorce is a different way to divorce.  There are neutral professionals, including a financial professional and mental health professional, to assist with your case. The mental health professional will teach the parents how to work together throughout the entire process. The Collaborative Divorce promotes communicating with your spouse to set up the future for each of you and this working together is the model for co-parenting in the future.  Long-term, Collaborative Divorce will save you both a lot of headaches, heartaches and money.

For more information about Collaborative Divorce, see the video below: