Divorce is obviously going to change things. Out of all the changes, one of the most significant is going to be in how you raise your children. There are no longer two parents present to discipline and watch the child. Decisions that used to be as simple as pillow talk now require calling someone -- who you likely still hold a grudge against -- and coming to an agreement.
It's called co-parenting, which is a new-fangled term for doing what you've always done: raising your children together. The bottom line is you're going to have to set aside whatever caused the split, and learn to work with your ex-spouse in creating a healthy and happy environment for your child.
The court system has long-recognized that this is a problem for parents. The same animosity that leads to divorce carries over into disputes about everything from vacation times to variations on custody arrangements to school choice. A couple used to fighting over everything will continue to do so, even after the divorce is finalized.
The solution, according to many courts, is parenting classes. According to the Associated Press, Illinois courts will require most parents of minor children who go through a divorce to take these classes. Prior to today, the classes were only held in-person, which meant the parents had to take time off work to learn a new style of parenting (the aforementioned co-parenting).
Now, Cook County is launching an online version of the classes, at online.divorce-education.com. The program, called Children in Between, should mean less missed work and easier access to parenting classes for those who either need it or are required to take the courses by the court. One would presume that an added benefit is cost savings to the county, as online classes typically take fewer resources than in-person education.
- Consult a Chicago Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Court ordered parenting class now available online (Cook County)
- Three Ideas for Surviving Thanksgiving with Shared Custody (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)
- Top Three Mistakes Celebrities Make in Marriage and Divorce (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)