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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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Posted on in Divorce

South Barrington divorce lawyer parents and childrenGetting a divorce is rarely an easy process, and it is further complicated when children are involved. A divorce with children brings up the topics of child custody (allocation of parental responsibilities), visitation (parenting time), and child support. By choosing the right attorney, you can alleviate the stress of planning your upcoming divorce while ensuring that your rights are protected as you and your ex-spouse plan for how to continue to raise your children together after the end of your marriage.

No matter the feelings between the parents, it is important to talk with children and discuss what divorce entails for your family. Depending on their emotional maturity, older children may have an easier time understanding divorce, but younger children often struggle to understand and adjust to the changes in their lives. Here are some guidelines for discussing divorce with children who are six years old or younger: 

Zero to 18 Months Old

A child this young barely has the developmental skills to form a proper sentence, let alone discuss or understand their parents’ divorce. However, children at this age can pick up on tension at home. Hold off on discussing the divorce in detail with children this young until they are older. Ease the stress on your infant by remaining consistent with them in your daily routines. This means taking care of yourself, ensuring that you will be able to continue to provide quality care for your infant during and after your divorce. 

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Barrington divorce lawyer parenting planDivorcing with children can be difficult. Their living arrangements will change drastically, and this change can be hard on them. Children thrive off of predictability and routine, which is why it is important that you establish a parenting plan prior to finalizing your divorce. Even if things are friendly now, and you and your spouse agree on the parenting situation, having a plan in writing can save you unwanted costs and headaches later.

How Will Parental Responsibility and Parenting Time Be Allocated?

One of the first things you need to determine in your parenting plan is how parental responsibility will be shared and parenting time will be divided between you and your ex-spouse. There are a few different types of parenting arrangements that are common:

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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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Schaumburg divorce attorney, children and divorce, divorcing parents, divorce and communication, divorce processWhen a marriage is falling apart, every member of the family will be going through a great deal of emotional turmoil, and during this chaotic time, spouses will often be focused on their legal requirements, their finances, their changing living arrangements, and their own emotional needs. However, divorce can be especially hard on children, and parents should be aware of the potential negative effects that the end of their marriage can have on their children, including:

  1. Emotional distress - Children of divorcing parents are likely to experience a great deal of anxiety and stress, especially when they are at a young age. Children often cannot fully understand why their lives are changing, and they may blame themselves for the end of their parents’ marriage. This emotional distress can lead to mood swings, irritability, depression, behavioral problems, and lower academic performance.

  1. Parental relationships - Children who are used to having both parents in their lives may struggle to adjust to a new situation in which they spend less time with each parent. While some couples are able to work out an agreement in which children spend equal time with each parent, in most cases, children will spend the majority of time with one parent, and their relationship with the other parent may suffer.

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