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St. Charles family law attorney child custody

One of the greatest challenges that parents face during divorce and child custody battle is keeping their feelings under control and not discussing their feelings about the other parent in front of their children. Children are smarter and more intuitive than we often give them credit for. Even a young toddler still learning to speak can sense the hostility that is being directed toward a parent when the other is talking about them behind their back. Multiple studies have shown that alienating a parent has life-long implications for children, with the potential to cause low self-esteem, self-hatred, depression, substance abuse, lack of trust, and more. The following are a few tips to follow if you are involved in a child custody battle. For more details that may apply to your particular situation, an experienced family attorney can assist you.

Posting Online

It is important to remember that the other party can and will use everything to their advantage. This means that if you post negative comments, send threatening emails or texts, or come off as the bitter, angry party, it will be used to your disadvantage. Keeping a calm demeanor is both important inside the courtroom, as well as outside.

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St. Charles family law attorney child custody

Of all the issues that a divorcing couple must contend with, child custody is often the most contentious issue they face. Even the friendliest of divorces can quickly turn adversarial when discussions about the allocation of parental responsibilities and developing a parenting plan come into the picture. These strong emotions can make custody disputes difficult, and they can also prompt parents to make mistakes. In some situations, these mistakes can end up being the deciding factor in where the judge decides the child should live. Consequently, it is important for parents in these disputes to stay civil, stay honest, and stay persistent, so that they can have their best chance at the custody arrangement that is best for their child.

Stay Civil

Staying civil is one of the most important parts of the child custody process, and all too often parents fail to do it. While this is understandable in light of the important issues being decided, rudeness will do more harm than good. Illinois law gives family court judges a wide range of discretion to decide custody issues, with the most important factor the judge considering is what is the best interest of the child. A judge seeing one parent being uncivil to the other may not look too favorable on the offending parent, especially if the other parent stays above it.

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St. Charles divorce attorney parenting time

While married parents are often able to work together to provide for their children and make important decisions about their well-being, the task of co-parenting can be more complicated after a divorce. Divorced parents often need to find a way to coordinate matters regarding their children while living in different homes, and this can be further complicated when there is a certain degree of conflict between the two parents. Matters related to a child’s health and medical needs can be some of the most challenging for divorced parents, especially at a time when health issues are front and center in the public eye.

Which Parent Makes Decisions About a Child’s Health?

Part of the allocation of parental responsibilities during the divorce process is determining how parents will share decision-making authority for their children. Typically, a parent has responsibility for the child’s day-to-day health and routine decisions during his or her scheduled parenting time. This includes fulfilling the child’s needs related to nutrition, sleep, and hygiene, as well as any regular medical needs. If the child has a medical or health emergency during a parent’s parenting time, that parent also has the responsibility to make appropriate decisions to respond to the situation.

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St. Charles divorce attorney parenting time

Many parents who are going through the divorce process are able to set aside at least some of their differences to work together on a parenting agreement that serves the best interests of their children. However, there are also divorces in which parenting time and parental responsibilities are a major source of conflict, and not just because the parents have trouble getting along. In some cases, a parent has concerns about their children spending time alone with the other parent, which may lead them to pursue parenting time restrictions.

Illinois Parenting Time Restrictions

It is important to note that just because one parent is granted a greater share of parenting time or parental responsibilities, that does not necessarily mean that the other parent’s time or responsibilities are restricted. The court will usually prioritize a parenting plan that allows each parent as much time as possible with the children. That said, the children’s best interests are the most important consideration, and sometimes children benefit from more time living with one parent to allow them to maintain their education and after-school routine with minimal interruptions.

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St. Charles divorce attorney parental relocation

Getting divorced and moving to a new location are both significant sources of stress in a person’s life, and the stress can be compounded when one happens soon after the other. A parent seeking to move with his or her children after a divorce is often especially complicated, as it can have a major impact on the other parent and his or her ability to maintain a relationship with the children.

In Illinois, parents who intend to relocate a certain distance away from their children’s current residence must obtain approval from the other parent or the court, but in most cases, this approval is just the beginning of the legal action necessary for the relocation to take place. Parents will also often need to consider substantial modifications to their current parenting plan or agreement, especially regarding parenting time.

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