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St. Charles divorce attorney parenting time

Not all divorces and separations are amicable and they do not always result in the desired outcome. In fact, when children are involved, few do. The allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time (previously referred to as child custody and visitation) is a contentious and emotional issue, as the court’s decision will affect the child and both parents for years to come.   Co-parenting requires a couple to find some grounds for cooperation and mutual understanding when, in reality, neither of those two factors was strong enough in the relationship to make it last in the first place. So how do you deal with it now? 

For some parents, the task of entrusting their child to a partner they do not believe is fit to be a guardian is too much to bear, and they may wonder if they can simply refuse to allow parenting time to continue. If you are heading down this path or need legal counsel to re-address custody or visitation rights, contact the family law attorneys at our office as soon as possible, we can help guide you in the right direction.

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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 attorneysParenting children under the same roof can be challenging in and of itself, but parenting them from separate homes almost always requires an even greater amount of effort. Yet, studies have consistently shown that children usually fare best in a divorce if they have the continued support of both parents. Illinois’ family laws encourage parents to work together in meeting the mental, emotional, and financial needs of their kids during and after their divorce. Most often, this goal is met through the drafting of a parenting plan, which contains two major components: the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly known as child custody) and parenting time (previously referred to as visitation). 

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities 

Throughout the course of a normal day, parents make multiple decisions about their children’s lives and future. While most decisions are relatively minor and require no prior “clearance” or approval from the other parent, there are certain aspects of their kids’ well-being that are considered “protected.” Examples include choices regarding education and religion. Parents also have certain legal obligations to their children, such as ensuring that the children’s medical needs are met. These issues are covered under the allocation of parental responsibilities. 

Under the Illinois Marriage and Marriage Dissolution Act (IMDMA), the law seeks to ease the often difficult transition related to the division of parental rights and responsibilities, including the decision-making authority between the parents in addition to where the children will live. In handling these sections of their parenting plan, some divorcing parents may reach an agreement easily. However, they must also figure out how disagreements will be handled, should they arise in the future. 

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St. Charles family law attorneyDuring a divorce, parents may develop  a parenting plan that is beneficial for both themselves and their children. Although these plans are often created with much thought and detail, changes can occur that may require a modification. Updated schedules, unexpected relocations, and the children's education or extracurricular activities could cause issues to arise. Depending on the reasons behind the potential adjustment, as well as the agreement of both parents, a court may approve a modification request. Ultimately, the court will make a decision that is in the best interest of the involved children.

What Should Parents Consider Before Deciding Responsibilities?

Aspects of a person's life may change significantly after a divorce is final. For parents that are getting divorced, it is important to reach mutual agreements on key factors that will affect your future and that of your children. For example, the distance between each parent’s residences is a topic that may lead to significant difficulties if either parent wishes to find a new place to live. Although a new residence may work better for one parent, it might not be compatible with the children's school schedule. Furthermore, children may have difficulties adjusting to a new community. The wishes of each parent and the child (as appropriate) should be considered before a parenting plan is finalized.    

Modification Limitations

For children going through a divorce, having a relationship with both parents could be in their best interest. Creating a stable environment for children can help foster their growth and development. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Marriage Act, unless the children's well-being is at risk, an adjustment will not usually be made within the first two years of the original agreement.

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