What Should You Do if You Are Having Co-Parenting Issues After a Divorce?

Updated on June 14, 2024
Updated: June 7, 2024

Navigating co-parenting after divorce can be challenging, and it's not uncommon for conflicts to arise between former spouses. Whether it's disagreements over parenting styles, communication breakdowns, or scheduling conflicts, these issues can strain the co-parenting relationship and impact the well-being of the children involved. By understanding the root causes of co-parenting issues and implementing strategies to overcome them, you can create a more harmonious co-parenting dynamic and prioritize the best interests of your children.

If you're struggling with co-parenting issues after a divorce, you're not alone. Our experienced custody lawyers in Orland Park are here to help you navigate these challenges and find solutions that work for your family. From mediation and negotiation to legal representation in family court, we offer a range of services to support you in resolving co-parenting conflicts and protecting your parental rights.

Contact us today at (708) 232-0017 to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards a more cooperative and supportive co-parenting relationship. Your children deserve the best, and we're here to help you achieve it.

What Are Common Co-Parenting Issues?

Common potential conflicts that can affect a parenting arrangement include:

Communication Breakdowns

One of the most frequent co-parenting issues is poor communication between parents. Effective communication is crucial for co-parenting, but emotional tensions and unresolved conflicts can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications. Parents may struggle to share information about their children’s schedules, health, education, and other important matters, leading to unnecessary conflicts and stress.

Inconsistent Rules and Routines

Children benefit from consistency, but when co-parents have different rules and routines, it can create confusion and instability. Inconsistent discipline, bedtime routines, or expectations for behavior can cause children to feel torn between their parents and lead to behavioral problems.

Scheduling Conflicts

Coordinating schedules can be challenging, especially when both parents have busy lives. Conflicts over parenting time, holidays, and special events can arise if there isn’t a clear and flexible schedule in place. These conflicts can disrupt the child’s routine and create tension between parents.

a mother spending time with her child

Financial Disagreements

Disagreements about child support, medical expenses, extracurricular activities, and other financial responsibilities are common. These financial issues can become a source of contention if parents don’t have a clear agreement or if one parent feels that they are bearing an unfair burden.

Introducing New Partners

When a parent introduces a new partner, it can create tension and discomfort. The other parent may feel threatened or concerned about the influence of the new partner on their children. This issue requires careful handling and open communication to ensure that the children’s well-being is prioritized.

Parental Alienation

Parental alienation occurs when one parent tries to turn the child against the other parent. This can happen through negative comments, limiting contact, or undermining the other parent’s authority. Parental alienation can have serious emotional and psychological effects on the child and can damage the co-parenting relationship.

Legal issues such as custody modifications, enforcement of court orders, and disputes over legal decisions related to the child can strain the co-parenting relationship. Navigating the legal system can be stressful and time-consuming, adding to the overall tension between parents.

Differences in Parenting Styles

Parents often have different approaches to parenting based on their backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. These differences can lead to conflicts over discipline, education, healthcare, and other parenting decisions. Finding common ground and compromising on key issues is essential for effective co-parenting.

Emotional Struggles

The emotional aftermath of a separation or divorce can impact co-parenting. Parents may still be dealing with feelings of anger, sadness, or resentment, which can interfere with their ability to work together constructively. Counseling or therapy can help parents address these emotions and improve their co-parenting relationship.

Children's Adjustment Issues

Children may struggle to adjust to the changes brought about by their parents' separation or divorce. Their reactions can vary based on their age, personality, and the circumstances of the breakup. Co-parents need to be attuned to their children's needs and work together to provide stability, support, and reassurance during this transition.

What Are Effective Strategies for Fixing Co-Parenting Issues?

Addressing co-parenting issues requires patience, communication, and a willingness to collaborate. Here are some effective co-parenting tips to consider:

Establish Clear Communication Channels

Good communication is the cornerstone of effective co-parenting. Utilize tools such as co-parenting apps, email, or scheduled phone calls to ensure consistent and clear communication. Regular check-ins can help both parents stay informed about their child's needs and any changes in schedule or behavior.

Create a Detailed Parenting Plan

A comprehensive co-parenting plan outlines the responsibilities and expectations of each parent. It should cover aspects such as custody arrangements, visitation schedules, decision-making authority, and procedures for resolving disputes. Having a lawyer help establish a clear parenting plan can prevent misunderstandings and reduce conflicts.

Focus on the Child’s Best Interests

Keep the focus on the well-being and best interests of the child. Decisions should prioritize the child's emotional, physical, and educational needs. Both parents should strive to provide a stable, healthy environment, minimizing conflict and demonstrating cooperation.

a child holding a cutout of a family

Use Mediation or Counseling

When direct communication fails to resolve issues, mediation or counseling can provide a neutral platform for discussion. A mediator or therapist can help both parents express their concerns, explore solutions, and reach agreements that work for everyone involved.

Practice Flexibility and Compromise

Flexibility is key in co-parenting. Life is unpredictable, and situations may arise that require adjustments to the agreed-upon schedule. Being willing to compromise and accommodate each other’s needs can foster a more harmonious co-parenting relationship.

Maintain Respectful Boundaries

It's important to maintain respectful boundaries and avoid involving the child in adult conflicts. Refrain from speaking negatively about the other parent in front of the child, and manage disagreements privately.

If co-parenting conflicts become unmanageable or legal issues arise, seeking advice from a family law attorney can be beneficial. An attorney can provide guidance on legal rights, help modify existing agreements, and represent your interests in court if necessary.

By implementing these strategies, co-parents can work towards conflict resolution, improving their relationship, and creating a positive structured environment for their children.

When co-parenting disputes arise, there are several legal options available to help resolve the conflicts and ensure the best interests of the child are met. Here are some legal avenues to consider:


Mediation is a collaborative process where a neutral third-party mediator assists the parents in negotiating and reaching mutually agreeable solutions. Mediation for parental issues is often required by courts before any litigation, as it encourages cooperation and can be less adversarial than a court proceeding.

Modification of Custody or Visitation Orders

If circumstances have significantly changed since the original custody order was issued, you can request a modification to visitation. This involves filing a petition with the court and demonstrating that the changes are in the best interests of the child.

Contempt of Court

If one parent is not complying with the terms of the custody or visitation order, the other parent can file a motion for contempt of court. This legal action compels the non-compliant parent to adhere to the court order and may involve penalties or sanctions.

Parenting Coordination

In high-conflict cases, a court may appoint a parenting coordinator. This professional works with the parents to resolve disputes, implement the parenting plan, and make recommendations to the court if necessary. Parenting coordinators often have the authority to make decisions on minor issues.

Court-Ordered Counseling or Co-Parenting Classes

The court may order co-parenting counseling or co-parenting classes. These resources can provide tools and strategies to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and work more effectively together in the best interests of the child.

a family attending counseling to help their co parenting strategy

Guardian ad Litem (GAL)

A guardian ad litem is a court-appointed advocate who represents the best interests of the child in custody disputes. The GAL investigates the situation, interviews both parents and the child, and makes recommendations to the court regarding custody and visitation.

Consulting with a family law attorney can provide guidance on your legal rights and options. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of family law, represent your interests in negotiations, and advocate for you in court if necessary.

Collaborative Law

This is a structured process that allows parents to work with their attorneys and other professionals to resolve disputes outside of court. Collaborative law focuses on open communication and problem-solving to reach an agreement that benefits everyone involved.

Filing for a Temporary Order

If an immediate issue needs to be addressed, such as safety concerns or interference with visitation, you can request a temporary order from the court. This order provides short-term solutions while the longer-term issues are being resolved.

These legal options offer various paths to resolving co-parenting disputes, each with its own advantages and processes. Consulting with a family law attorney in Orland Park can help determine the best course of action based on your specific situation and goals.

Our Team Can Help You Resolve Your Co-Parenting Issues

Navigating co-parenting issues after a divorce can be challenging, but you don't have to face these difficulties alone. Seeking the right legal guidance and exploring various dispute resolution methods can significantly improve the co-parenting dynamic and ensure the best interests of your child are met. Whether through mediation, modification of court orders, or other legal avenues, there are solutions available to help you manage and resolve co-parenting conflicts effectively.

If you're experiencing co-parenting issues and need legal assistance, contact our family law firm today. Our experienced family law attorneys are here to provide you with the support and representation you need to protect your parental rights and foster a healthy co-parenting relationship. Don't wait—contact Tommalieh Law now to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward resolving your co-parenting challenges.

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