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  • Writer's pictureAngela Larimer

5 Ways to Make Co-Parenting Work for Your Family

Updated: Jun 10, 2021

Here is how to make co-parenting work for your family. For a Family Law attorney in Chicago, call Angela at Larimer Law, LLC at 773-370-0600 or email

The way divorced parents handle shared decision-making and the co-parenting can significantly influence the mental and emotional well-being of children both during and after divorce. Following a few co-parenting guidelines can help ensure children experience security, stability, and healthy relationships. For help creating and implementing a co-parenting plan that works for both parents and children alike, families in Chicago can reach out to Family Law attorney Angela Larimer at Larimer Law, LLC by calling 773-370-0600 or emailing 

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1. Saying Negative Things About the Other Parent

Frustrations during and after divorce can run high.  Parents should avoid insulting or saying negative things about the other parent. Venting frustrations about the other parent in front of the children can cause children to feel like they are expected to choose one side over the other. Fostering negativity about the other parent could also affect the child's self-esteem and may lead to other negative effects of parental alienation. Children have the right to love, respect, and build healthy relationships with both Mom and Dad.

2. Considering the Child's Best Interests

Parents should build a parenting plan that facilitates a healthy and happy childhood. This may not always be aligned with what a parent would personally prefer. To help ensure the child’s best interests are protected, parents should avoid the emotional tunnel vision that causes them to focus on their own feelings, and instead concentrate on putting their child’s needs ahead of their own. 

3. Developing a Realistic Schedule for Everyone Involved

Parents should remain pragmatic and develop a parenting time schedule that works for children and parents alike. Taking into account each person's situation including career commitments, the ages and needs of the children, extracurricular activities, and the distance between the parents’ homes can help parents develop a parenting time schedule that meets the family’s needs. When parents are unable to agree on a parenting plan on their own, a mediator may be better able to help them find solutions that work without seeking court intervention.

4. Maintaining Good Communication

Open, honest, and straightforward communications about important issues are key for a positive co-parenting experience. Parents need to determine which method of communication works best for them and their children. While some parents may be able to communicate effectively in person or over the phone, others may find it easier to discuss schedules and parenting decisions via email or text. Co-parenting apps, shared calendars, common document storage and message boards for things like immunization, extracurricular activities and school records are proven effective ways to communicate.

5. Remaining Flexible

Life is never black and white. While parents should strive to maintain consistency for their children, special circumstances may arise that require a deviation from the previously agreed-upon schedule. Additionally, schedules and parenting plans should be flexible as children grow and their needs and other circumstances change. 

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