Co-parenting, or parenting after separation, is widely considered one of the best ways to keep a divorce as stress free as possible for the children involved. While the parent’s romantic relationship has ended, through co-parenting, parents are able to live their own lives while sharing the responsibility of parenting their children.
When you are going through a divorce, the prospect of having to set up a child custody arrangement can seem daunting. You might worry about an outside evaluator meeting with you to ask you questions about your home, your lifestyle, and your relationship with your child, then deciding where your child should live. This is a very simplified view of the child custody evaluation process and in most cases, you will have plenty of opportunity to provide a detailed account of your parenting style and work with your former spouse and the evaluator to develop a custody arrangement that meets your child’s needs.
During the past few years, joint child custody has become a popular choice in Illinois because it permits both parents the opportunity to spend time with their children. In this way, children benefit, too, as they don’t feel cut off from seeing one of their parents. However, joint child custody can have a downside: Co-parenting can exacerbate disagreements between the parents and present long-term challenges.
Divorce affects children in different ways. Research published by Northern Illinois University shows that adolescents with divorced parents are 15 percent more disengaged from their families than adolescents from two parent homes. Healthy co-parenting is important for a child’s development even after the dissolution of a marriage. This is why it is important to have visitation guidelines to follow.
In a divorce situation, making arrangements for the custody and care of your children will be among the most difficult decisions to be made. Regardless of your feelings toward your ex-spouse, your children still deserve the best efforts of both parents in providing for them. For this reason, many divorced parents are recognizing the importance of a parenting plan that they have jointly negotiated rather than relying solely on a judge’s interpretation of the law.
A family dealing with divorce must account for many considerations. The divorcing spouses need to decide who will keep the family home, which in turn decides who needs to find a new place. Property and assets must be divided equitably, and arrangements made regarding the children. When making decisions regarding child custody in Illinois, the court is expected to at least consider the wishes of the child as to which parent with whom they wish to live. For many divorced parents, it can be very difficult to find out that their child’s preference is the other parent.
Life can get very confusing and complicated for children of divorce. Even in the best of situations, children can often feel like mere assets to be divided by their parents like furniture or cars. Regardless of how you feel about your ex during and after the divorce, it is extremely important that your children’s comfort and well-being are not overlooked.
In some custody cases, a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is appointed to add a non-biased opinion on the matter. It is important for both parties to understand the GAL’s job, focus, and the weight of his/her decision before deciding whether to ask for this form of advocacy in a child custody case.
Getting a divorce from a spouse who you have children with can be one of the most difficult and emotional times of your life. Unfortunately, this same emotional and psychological stress often carries over to your former spouse, and subsequently, to the children as well. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make during an Illinois divorce; causing negative consequences may be seen immediately, but also can have terrible long term effects on the childrens’ physical and mental health.
If you have children and are going through a divorce, separation, or are not married to your children’s mother/father, you know that custody and visitation issues can be difficult. Understanding your rights and the reasons behind the laws is an important step to making an ultimate decision.