Divorce may be forever, but if you have children, so is your relationship with your ex. It is not easy to share parenting duties, and if you and your spouse have had a particularly nasty or contested divorce, this will be all the more true. This, however, is all the more reason to go into the divorce as clear-headed as possible. Just because your marriage is over, does not mean that your shared parenting duties are. There are several important questions to ask yourselves as you are going through a divorce to help put into perspective how you will move forward raising children together. All are kid-centric and generally include:
- What can we do to make life better for our kids than it was while we were married?
- When our children look back and remember this time in their lives as adults, will they respect the way we handled the divorce?
- Are the kids having to bear more responsibility than a kid should?
- Can we learn to be flexible with living arrangements as they grow up? Who can provide the best living environment, and what will that mean for or require of the child?
For many kids, their parents’ divorce is a blessing in disguise. Oftentimes children are conditioned to think that their parents’ constant fighting—a house always on the edge of emotional explosion—is normal. It is easy for children to become accustomed to whatever circumstance they are in, without questioning it. An interesting takeaway one child of divorce experienced is that divorce takes away any preconceived notions of familial roles, meaning that a child is free to have a different type of relationship with each of his or her parents. In many causes, such relationships may never have developed if the unhealthy marriage and family situation had stayed intact.
If you or someone you know is considering divorce and has questions about co-parenting, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney today.