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Schaumburg divorce lawyer

When getting a divorce, one of the biggest concerns is how decisions regarding children will be made between the former spouses. In Illinois, this is called parental responsibility, which dictates the important aspects of a child’s life. Decisions about medical care, education, and religion are made by the parents, who share this responsibility. Decisions about a child’s care are made through what is called a parenting plan. 

What is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a court order that decides which parent sees the child and when, and how they are cared for. Although the time spent with both parents is rarely an exact 50/50 split, in most cases, the court will decide that the child will benefit the most from seeing both parents regularly. In lieu of “visitation” in Illinois, the term used is “parenting time,” which is defined as time performing parental duties and care. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg family lawyer

When children are young, birthday parties are a way to make them feel special, with family and friends in attendance. However, after a divorce, celebrating a child’s birthday may feel like a complicated and daunting task. Your child deserves to have a great day, but seeing your ex-spouse and being reminded of your divorce may not be the best situation for everyone involved. You may also feel increased pressure to make things perfect for your child, especially if you are recently divorced.

To start, your parenting plan may have all the answers. You might have communicated what to do for family birthdays in your divorce agreement. A parenting plan dictates which parent a child spends time with and when. Maybe that was a while ago, and things have changed, or it was not included at all. 

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Schaumburg Parenting Plan Lawyer

With New Year’s and the holiday season now in the rearview mirror, children will soon go back to school. Winter break is a great time to enjoy days with your children and celebrate together. With your child being off from school for multiple weeks, hopefully your parenting plan worked sufficiently for you and your ex-spouse as you navigated the packed schedule. 

Parenting plans should be formulated during the initial divorce process. They detail when a child gets to spend time with each parent and provide instructions for situations like extracurricular activities, holidays, and day-to-day life, such as exchanges of parenting time and a child's educational needs.

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Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg divorce lawyer parents children holidaysThe leaves are starting to change colors, and now that it is October, your child is likely to be gearing up to go trick or treating this year. If you have recently gotten a divorce or are in the midst of the divorce process, holidays will be handled differently than when you were married. However, planning for successful co-parenting will ensure that your child has as good a time as they did in previous years. 

Trick or Treat?

While your child may choose to dress as Batman or their favorite Disney princess, you and your ex-partner should be completely transparent about planning family holidays. Communicating details and keeping your child out of any crossfire will allow him or her to focus on getting candy and not on dealing with mom and dad’s separation.  

If your parenting plan does not account for Halloween, it is important to communicate with your ex before the big night and make sure your plans are clear. Scrambling to make plans the night before Halloween will put unnecessary stress on everyone. 

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Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer co-parentingIt is normal for relationships to change, but it is when they change too much that couples may consider getting a divorce. Not all married couples decide to have children, but if they do, a divorce can become much more complicated. You may be able to resolve the various legal issues that must be addressed during divorce, but when it comes to the relationship with your ex, that is up to you. It is, however, in the best interests of your children to remain civil with each other while raising them together. 

Positive Relationships in Sole or Joint Custody Situations

Following divorce, parents may have joint custody of their children, or one parent may have sole custody. With sole custody, one parent is granted primary responsibility of the child, and the other has visitation rights (known as parenting time in Illinois). With joint custody, both parents share decision-making responsibility when raising their children. 

Either arrangement requires communication between you and your ex. These suggestions can aid in improving your relationship as you work together to raise your children:

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Arlington Heights divorce lawyer back to school“What did you do this summer?” This question is often asked when children go back to school, but for some children, summer was not all pool parties and playgrounds. For a child whose parents got a divorce over the summer, this question can be intimidating and stressful. A child who has divorced parents can exhibit certain behaviors and symptoms in school which can affect their education if not handled properly. The logistics of having a child in school can be complicated for any family, and a family with divorced parents can experience more stress and trouble than others. However, by following these tips, you can help your child’s school year go more smoothly:

1. Determine Who Will Pay for School Supplies

A new school year means new school clothes, shoes, uniforms, backpacks, and lunch boxes--not to mention the long list of school supplies. These costs add up quickly, so you should determine how they will be divided between you and your ex. If you already have a preset arrangement, stick to that. If not, dividing the cost in half is usually a good way to meet your child’s needs without causing conflict.

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Palatine divorce attorney parenting planEveryone knows that divorce is hard on all of those who are involved - especially the kids. Even if you try to keep them out of the fighting and the negotiations, you may not realize how much your children actually pick up on. They can sense when there is tension between their parents, but they often do not know what to do about it, and this can cause them a great deal of stress. One way that divorced parents may be able to help their children cope with the changes to their lives is by using a unique co-parenting arrangement called “nesting.”

What Is a Nesting Arrangement?

This type of co-parenting agreement occurs when a divorced couple keeps the family home, and the children reside there 100 percent of the time--it is the parents who come and go. A separate living space, such as an apartment, is rented so the parents have somewhere to go when the other parent is at the house with the children. Or, in some cases, each parent will have their own living space to go to. This type of arrangement puts the focus on making the children comfortable with the parents’ divorce and alleviating the stress that children feel when they are constantly hauled back and forth between residences.

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Palatine child custody lawyerA new and increasingly popular trend for child custody arrangements after a divorce is co-parenting, in which both the mother and father play an active role in their child’s life, even though they are no longer together. This ensures that children can still have close relationships with both of their parents after divorce. Joint custody arrangements can be exhausting and riddled with stress, but co-parenting arrangements can benefit children greatly. These tips can help you become a great co-parent after divorce:

Aim For Consistency

Divorce can affect children just as much as it affects adults. Now that both parents are not around at the same time, and the child may be moving from household to household, consistency is key for raising your children. You should try to maintain the same rules, expectations, disciplines, and schedules in both parents’ homes to avoid confusion. Rules about homework, curfews, and things the child is and is not allowed to do should be kept the same, along with the consequences for breaking those rules.

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Schaumburg divorce attorney parent child issuesWhen parents decide to divorce, both they and their children may have difficulty adjusting to the major changes they will be experiencing in their lives. Some growing pains are inevitable as children become accustomed to dividing their time between two separate homes. However, parents can work to provide a good environment for their children by avoiding the following mistakes:

  • Involving children in conflict - Even though parents will likely not get along very well during divorce, it is important to avoid arguing in front of children or exposing them to disagreements. This can be very damaging to children, so parents should work to resolve their disputes when children are not present.
  • Inconsistency - Parents should work to maintain consistent rules and schedules at both their houses, which will provide children with a sense of security and help them avoid feeling anxious about what to expect. 
  • Competition - Parents should avoid trying to win their children’s affection by overindulging them or giving them everything they ask for. It is also important for a parent to avoid speaking negatively about the other parent or blaming the other parent for the divorce.
  • Sending messages - Parents should communicate with each other directly rather than sending messages through their children. Making children act as messengers can put them in the middle of conflict and cause them anxiety.
  • Spying - While a parent may be tempted to ask children about their former spouse’s emotional state, the condition of their home, or their dating activities, it is important to avoid doing so, since this can place a great deal of stress on children.
  • Forcing children to choose - Children should never be asked to make decisions about where they should live or choose sides in parental conflicts. This places children in a difficult position, and it can lead to a great deal of emotional difficulty for everyone involved. Parents should work together to make decisions or reach compromises without involving their children.

Contact a Palatine Divorce Attorney

During divorce, it is important to put children’s best interests first, and both parents should work together to resolve their disagreements in a way that creates a good foundation for an ongoing co-parenting relationship. At Anderson & Associates, P.C., we can work with you to resolve your divorce disputes through negotiation or mediation, and if necessary, we will advocate for your parental rights in court. Contact a Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer at 847-995-9999 to schedule a free consultation.

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Palatine divorce parenting attorneyWhen a couple’s relationship breaks down and they decide to end their marriage, they are likely to experience a number of strong emotions which may make it difficult to remain civil with one another. However, when spouses have children together, they should remember that divorce is not the end of their relationship, since they will both be parents of their children for the rest of their lives. By taking steps to establish a good foundation for co-parenting during divorce, they will be able to provide a good environment for their children for years to come. Here are some helpful tips for working together with your ex to co-parent your children:

  1. Maintain consistency between both homes - Even if your style of parenting is different from your ex-spouse, it is best for children if their parents are on the same page about issues such as rules for behavior, school expectations, and methods of discipline. Work together with your ex-spouse to find parenting strategies you can agree on.
  1. Stick to regular routines - Kids need consistency in their lives, so it is important to follow regular schedules for meal times, bedtimes, and other activities when they are staying with you. This structure will give them stability and reduce their anxiety about what to expect when moving between homes.
  1. Communicate with each other - Make sure the other parent knows what is going on in your children’s lives and is up to date on their educational and medical needs. Let them know if you need their help with anything, if children have a major event or accomplishment to share, or if there is anything else they need to be aware of.
  1. Be flexible - Court-ordered parenting time schedules are important, but either you or your ex may want to deviate from the schedule from time to time, especially when children are involved in events or activities. Be open to accommodating these requests while putting children’s needs first.
  1. Encourage your kids to have a good relationship with the other parent - While you may not have positive feelings about your ex-spouse, they are still your children’s parent, and you should allow and encourage them to maintain a positive relationship with each other. 
  1. Keep kids out of conflicts - Disagreements with your ex are likely, but you should do everything you can to avoid arguing in front of your children. Never ask children to take sides, avoid disparaging the other parent in front of them, and do not use them to send messages to the other parent.
  1. Take care of yourself - Co-parenting means that you will have some free time when your children are with their other parent. Using this time to exercise, eat healthy food, socialize with friends, participate in activities you enjoy, and take care of your own needs will help you be the best parent you can be for them.

Contact a Barrington Divorce Lawyer

If you need help resolving the outstanding issues in your divorce, the skilled, compassionate attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can protect your rights and advocate for your children’s best interests as you work to reach an agreement that will provide a foundation for ongoing co-parenting. Contact a Schaumburg divorce attorney today at 847-995-9999 to schedule a free consultation.

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