One of the most challenging issues for uncoupled parents in Illinois is learning to co-parent effectively. Child custody and visitation schedules are a shock to the system no matter how carefully a family prepares for them. And with parents in two separate homes, it can be increasingly challenging to present a united front when it comes to key parenting issues. As with most things in life, communication is the key to making it work.
One concept marketers and salespeople have adopted in recent years is frictionless experiences. It’s an idea that can be applied to relationships. For example, parents in different locations can share information on the same Google calendar. This makes it much easier for them to maintain a working schedule.
Additionally, parents can communicate very easily through WhatsApp or text. Instead of taking a child’s word for what their other parent said or did with regard to an issue, they can reach out and confirm. If one parent finds out that a child is dealing with bullying or other issues at school, they can reach out to strategize about the issue before trying to address it themselves.
A mediator or therapist may be a good resource for parents who share child custody but find that their world views aren’t completely aligned. For example, one parent may seek to lavish gifts and elaborate parties on their child. The other parent might believe that those are rewards that should be earned. Talking it out and planning for events like holidays and birthdays before they arrive is wise. It can prevent disputes close to the day of the occasion.
Education and religion are two other areas where disputes can be common. Some parents are committed to public school. Others believe homeschooling or private education are key to success. One parent may evolve into a devoutly religious person, while one values secularism. An attorney with experience in family law can be a great resource as these issues arise.