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Divorce and Children: Deciding Who Gets “Custody” of the Kids Before Court

Posted on in Child Custody

llinois parenting time lawyersAccording to studies on divorce, children tend to adjust best when they have the continued love and support of both parents. While many divorcing couples understand this and strive to ensure that the child has time and a connection with both parties, some struggle to find common ground. In such a scenario, the courts may be forced to decide where the child will live and go to school, but what happens between the filing of paperwork and the finalization of divorce?

Prioritizing the Best Interests of the Child 

Divorce can bring out the worst in people. Not only do they have to completely rearrange their lives, but they are also dealing with a perceived loss, which can lead to feelings of grief. If unmanaged, grief can lead to feelings of anger and resentment toward one’s spouse. Those emotions can be further amplified if one feels that their spouse is responsible for the divorce, or is trying to “take the child away.” There are other scenarios that can create strife in a divorce as well, such as a party feeling like they are losing their child, or that they are not getting enough time with them. 

Though these feelings typically subside over time, the actions taken while they occur can have a life-long impact on the child. Words said can cause the child to feel as though they are wrong for missing their other parent or wanting to spend time with them. Children may also become frightened or worried that the other parent will stop loving them or disappear. As a parent, it is your job to help your child deal with and combat these negative feelings and emotions by ensuring the child has a healthy and continued relationship with both of their parents. Work hard to prioritize their best interests and find a healthy way to deal with the feelings of loss and grief that may arise during the divorce process. 

Minimizing Contact During Divorce

Perhaps the most complicated part of making decisions about a child’s future is dealing with a spouse when your own emotions take hold. You may feel resentment and anger. Your spouse may irritate you, even when they do not mean to do so. The best way to combat this is to minimize contact. Talk only about matters that pertain directly to your child, and avoid asking about your spouse’s personal life. Remember that their life decisions no longer directly impact you - only your child. Limit in-person conversations and try to communicate mostly through text or email so that you can read and re-think your statements and responses, rather than simply saying what is on your mind. Above all, hire an attorney to help you handle the technical details of your divorce so that you are not tempted to argue about things like money or the house. 

When Court Intervention is Necessary 

While most custody issues in a pending divorce arise because of grief, anger, and resentment, there are legitimate scenarios in which a child needs to be protected. As an example, consider a child that is being physically, emotionally, or sexually abused by a parent. Alternatively, if there is a reason to believe that one parent is alienating the other, the child may need protection. In these situations, an emergency hearing may be sought. Do not attempt to deal with such scenarios on your own; instead, seek seasoned and experienced legal assistance with your case. You can also fight for your rights if your spouse is wrongfully denying you time with your child. Again, the aid of an attorney should be sought for such situations. 

Our Wheaton Divorce Attorneys Can Help Your Family Heal

Davi Law Group, LLC can help your family heal by ensuring the best interests of your child are protected. Seasoned and experienced, we take a compassionate, child-centric approach to divorce. Call 630-580-6373 and schedule a personalized consultation with our skilled Wheaton divorce lawyers to get started. 

Sources:

https://courts.illinois.gov/Forms/approved/divorce/Divorce_with_Children_Instructions2.pdf

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