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Give your parenting plan the best start possible after a divorce

Like many other Illinois parents, you decided to work with your soon-to-be former spouse in order to continue raising your children. You decided that despite the divorce, your children deserve to have both parents in their lives. Now all you need to do is come up with a plan that gives you the best possible chance of succeeding as co-parents. Should be easy, right? Perhaps not, but it will be worth it.

If you negotiate your own parenting plan, you can design it to fit the needs of your family. You retain control of what parenting will look like post-divorce. Having this freedom is a bonus, but that does not mean that you and the other parent do not need to formulate some ground rules.

Whether they would admit it or not, children crave routine. It provides them with security and stability. You and the other parent may need to agree on -- and document -- a consistent routine that will be followed by you both. Of course, you do not have to rigidly follow the routine, but the outline should be the same in both homes even if the details are not. The two of you should also agree to compromise and communicate with each other while setting reasonable boundaries.

Creating such a plan may sound like a daunting task in the midst of an Illinois divorce. However, raising children is also a daunting task under any conditions. This may actually be the best time to formulate the plan since you may be extra sensitive to your needs, the needs of the children and perhaps even your former spouse's needs. If you can negotiate a workable plan during this challenging time, it may provide you both with the foundation necessary to embark on your new journey as co-parents.

Source: thespruce.com, "Coparenting Essentials: a Toolkit for Parenting With Your Ex", Jennifer Wolf, Aug. 6, 2017

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