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Tag Archives: parenting time

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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DuPage County child visitation attorney family lawMost experts agree that children thrive when they have positive relationships with both parents, along with extended family on both sides. Unfortunately, life does not always work out that way. In some cases, parents do not agree on which family members should and should not be part of a child’s life. Sometimes, a parent may even have good reason to feel that the other parent is unfit to be around their child. Typically, Illinois law allows for children of divorced parents to continue having parenting time with both parents and meaningful relationships with all of their extended family. However, there are, of course, necessary exceptions. 

What Is Considered Cause for Termination of Visitation?

Custody laws in Illinois state that unless a child’s physical, emotional, mental, and/or moral health is at stake, modifications to a child custody agreement will not be made. Of course, this can be a tough call to make, so when there is a question about the matter of a child’s safety, it will probably require an investigation and a hearing. Significant evidence that the accused party is indeed a danger to the child will have to be produced in order for the court to consider changes.

What Types of Visitation Modifications May Be Made?

Family members in the child’s life who have visitation rights which could be challenged include a parent, grandparent, sibling, or stepparent. In a “normal situation,” all of these relatives would be entitled to regular contact with the child, including in-person visits and electronic or phone contact when the child is not in their physical presence. However, if it can be proven that the child would be in danger during the course of parenting time or visitation with family members, modifications may be made.

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Wheaton divorce attorneysDivorce can be a painful and difficult process for all involved parties, but children are said to be at an exceptionally high risk of experiencing long-term consequences. Child experts believe their heightened risk of complications could be attributed to the sense of powerlessness that children often feel during the divorce process. 

Children typically have no say over whether their parents’ marriage continues. In fact, most are unaware that a divorce is even happening until the proceedings are well underway. They are also rarely given a say over the decisions that are made during the divorce process, yet many of them affect the child’s day-to-day life. Examples include where the child will live and go to school and the amount of time that they get to spend with each parent once the divorce has been finalized.

Thankfully, it is possible for loving parents to mitigate many of the issues that children may experience during and after the divorce process. The first (and perhaps most important step) is to ensure that you put your child at the center of every decision you make - especially if it will directly affect them in the months and years to come.

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Wheaton parenting time attorneysWhile some divorcing couples fight and argue until the bitter end, more and more parents are striving for an amicable end to their marriage. One might even go say that the decision to “consciously uncouple” has become somewhat of a trend in divorce. There are even “new” parenting time plans being used by well-meaning parents. One such example is the “bird-nesting” arrangement. 

Is this type of parenting time plan a positive one for kids, or is it merely a trend? More importantly, could this type of agreement result in unnecessary harm for children of divorce? The following examines both sides of a bird-nesting divorce, and it explains how you can determine if it may be a suitable parenting time solution for your family. 

What is a Bird-Nesting Divorce?

When most parents divorce, one typically moves out of the house. The other may soon follow, or they may opt to keep the family home. In either case, the children may be shuffled back and forth between the two homes. In the midst of all the changes occurring in their lives, such arrangements can be daunting for children of divorce. It can also amp up the discomfort they feel while trying to adjust to their “new life.” 

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Wheaton family law attorneysChildren often feel the pain of a divorce, no matter what time of year it is, but the holiday season can be especially difficult for those who are trying to adjust to a new way of life. Days previously spent together, happily planning family events, wrapping gifts, or attending holiday parties together can become a sad reminder of all that the child has lost. Not all is lost, however. In fact, parents can help their child find and experience joy during the holidays, even if they are in the throes of nasty divorce. Best of all, divorcing parents can use the following co-parenting strategies, long after the decorations have been packed away, as these tactics can benefit a child of divorce, all year-round. 

Focus on Your Child Instead of Your Ex-Spouse 

Parents are encouraged to focus their energy on their child, rather than their ex-spouse, during the divorce process. Concerns over your ex’s personal life, fighting over parenting matters or marital assets, and worrying about whether your child misses you while spending time with their other parent can hurt more than just you and your spouse; such behaviors can also cause your child to feel as though they are trapped in the middle of the divorce, or that they must “choose sides.” Focus on celebrating your child’s time with their other parent, keep conversations about the divorce private, and focus on rebuilding and reinventing your own life and not only are you likely to be happier, but your child is likely to be as well. 

Consider Using Neutral Ground for Family Traditions

Family traditions do not have to fall completely to the wayside, just because you are divorcing your spouse, but if spending a few hours alone with them in the presence of your child does not feel like a possibility, you may be at a loss for how to move forward. Some parents choose to continue their usual family traditions on neutral ground. For example, if you typically open gifts together on Christmas morning, you might consider if it would be possible to meet and open gifts at a family member’s house. Changing traditions in this way not only allows your child to share important moments with both parents, but it shows your child that you and your ex-spouse are willing to work together as a cohesive parenting team, rather than sworn enemies. 

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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.
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