Like anywhere else, children here in Illinois rely on their parents to help them through tough situations such as a divorce. How they cope with the upcoming changes largely depends on how their parents handle the situation. For this reason, it would be a good idea to use a parenting plan to set the stage for a healthy co-parenting relationship post-divorce.

Spelling out any agreements the parents make in writing could help them stick to them. For instance, even though the parties acknowledge that they will remain in each other’s lives as parents, they still need to establish some boundaries, especially since they will most likely be attending events related to the children. They also need to account for the fact that even though a parenting schedule is in place, life happens, and flexibility may be required on the part of one parent or the other.

Since the odds are high that the parents will never agree on everything, it would be a good idea to include a way to resolve disputes and disagreements. Knowing ahead of time a healthy way to resolve these issues could help keep them from escalating. Learning to get along better as parents will help the children see that their parents are willing to get along — at least for their sake.

Most parents want to make sure that their decision to divorce will have as little impact on the children as possible. A healthy co-parenting relationship does not often just happen without some work on the part of the parents. Illinois couples facing divorce can help the family through this transitional phase by putting into place some agreements in a parenting plan that will help them be better parents in the future.