For some Illinois parents, raising a child after a divorce comes with challenges because the family dynamics after divorce affect everyone involved. Additionally, co-parenting a child together after divorce requires effort and consideration on the part of both biological parents. Adding a step-parent to this equation often brings up even more things that the adults must work through in order to raise the child in a healthy, stable environment.
Understanding what a child is going through after a divorce and when a stepparent joins the household is important. After a divorce and a parent’s remarriage, a child might be feeling left out or uncomfortable in their own home. They might be struggling with their place in the family and feeling guilty and disloyal to the other parent. There might also be some conflict with accepting another adult in their life.
The biological parents must establish and respect boundaries. They need to make sure that their conversations and decisions are limited to the child’s life and welfare, and they should ensure that their personal feelings about their ex are not causing them to react in a negative manner. Similarly, they need to have open, honest and respectful communication about their child’s schedule, discussing any changes with each other before talking about it to the child. They also need to be flexible as surprises will pop up that can affect the established parenting plan. Speaking in a positive manner about the other parent and their new spouse in front of the child can also help the adults involved work together successfully.
By keeping the best interests of the child in mind, exes can successfully co-parent. This can begin when they are negotiating child custody and visitation. During this process, the parents may benefit from the support of a family law lawyer who can explain their options and guide them toward the best possible outcome for the family.