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Tag Archives: best interest of the child

Wheaton parenting time attorneysDivorce often marks the beginning of a happier, more evolved life for the formerly married parties. Some people discover their passion or find a new love. Others return to their roots for love and support, which may ultimately deepen their relationships with extended family and old friends. Whatever the scenario, divorce can ultimately change people for the better. Sadly, the same cannot always be said for the children of divorce.

Understanding Why Children Are So Vulnerable in a Divorce 

Children of divorce are often victims of circumstance with little to no decision-making power in the process. If their parents decide to sell the family home and both move into a smaller or cheaper place, the child may be forced to change schools. When parents struggle to get along or agree on specific, child-related matters (i.e. what religion the child should practice or where they should go to school) they may be caught in the middle of a long and contentious battle over parenting time issues or the allocation of parental responsibilities. 

In short, contentious divorce proceedings can leave a child feeling as though their entire life is hanging in the balance. Children may also begin to experience maladjustment issues, and if parents miss the warning signs, it can increase the risk of long-term mental health problems. 

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Wheaton family law attorneysDivorce may end a marriage, but it does not end the co-parenting relationship between a couple. In fact, children of divorce tend to fare best when both of their parents work together to protect the child’s best interests - and not just immediately after the divorce, but also as the child grows and their needs change. Back-to-school season is a good time to reexamine a child’s situation and consider if changes to the parenting plan may be in order. Learn more in the following sections, and discover how a seasoned, competent family law attorney can assist you with the process. 

Putting Your Child’s Needs First 

It is normal for parents to be protective of their time with a child; they grow up fast. Yet, it is critical that divorced couples consider and attempt to meet their child’s needs in every way possible. Part of this is because studies have shown that divorce does not necessarily create problems for children. Instead, children tend to experience poorer outcomes (i.e. struggling with relationships as an adult, poor academic performance, behavioral issues, etc.) when there is a great deal of contention between the parents. You and your spouse can protect your child from such outcomes by placing the needs of your child over your own wishes and desires. 

Growing Children and Changing Needs

The needs of all children change as they grow older - homework demands get bigger, school start times change, and they often become involved in more activities. Those changes can be even more difficult to manage when the child’s needs are being met in two separate homes and they have two different schedules to follow. Parents can help their child by considering what may benefit the child most. 

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Wheaton divorce lawyersDivorce can dredge up a lot of anger and resentment toward your spouse - especially if you are not the one who filed. Yet, as a parent, it is critical that you remember your child is the innocent party, and they need love and support from both their parents to help them cope. Increase your chances of meeting their needs by avoiding the saying the following things to your child during and after the divorce process, and discover how a seasoned divorce lawyer can further decrease the chances that your child will suffer from maladjustment issues down the road. 

Your Mother/Father is a “Deadbeat” (and Other Negative Names)

Children are half of each parent, so when one parent attacks the other, the child may start to think that there is something wrong with them as well. So, regardless of what your ex is doing (or has done in the past) do your best to try and keep your opinions about them to yourself. If you need to talk about your spouse’s behavior or the details of the divorce, turn to family or friends who are on your side or make an appointment with a therapist or with a support group. Just make sure that your child is not within earshot when discussing such issues. 

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Illinois parenting time lawyersDivorce can negatively impact all involved parties, but children tend to be at the greatest risk for long-term complications and maladjustment. Part of this is due to their lack of control in the situation, but there are also other factors that can influence their ability to cope with divorce (i.e. a history of abuse or neglect, parental alienation, developmental disabilities, etc.). Thankfully, parents can mitigate many of the risks by making intentional efforts to safeguard their child’s best interests during and after the divorce process. Learn more on how to effectively do this while parenting in separate homes, and discover how the assistance of a seasoned divorce attorney can help to improve the final outcome of your case. 

Allowing Your Child to Love Both Parents

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes that parents make in divorce is they get jealous over the time that their child spends with their former spouse. Alternatively, a parent may be so emotionally distraught that they feel they “need” their child around to be okay with their new way of life. Unfortunately, both scenarios (as well as any others that may hinder your child’s ability to freely love both of their parents) can cause permanent damage to your child’s well-being. 

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DuPage County family law attorneys, best interest of the childHave you ever wondered how family court judges make decisions on behalf of children? Illinois, and most other states, uses a standard of the “best interest of a child.” Though the specifics differ between states, the best interest of the child, or BIOC for short, is usually a statutory list that is part of the state’s code that governs family law. Judges must refer to this list as guidance when considering the factors of the situation to decide the BIOC.

Changes to Illinois Family Law

January 1, 2016 brought several changes to Illinois family law, including changes to the list of factors considered for BIOC. One change was that Illinois now has separate—though very similar—BIOC factors depending on whether parenting time or decision-making responsibility for the child is being allocated. Illinois also added some factors that were not previously included. 

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
Davi Law Group, LLC handles family law, estate planning and real estate matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville, Illinois.
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway, Suite 103, Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road, Building A, Suite 105, Wheaton, IL 60189
Fax(888) 350-9195
Chicago Office
Address321 N. Clark Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 102,
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
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