During the long Thanksgiving weekend, families often have plans to spend time together—go bowling, shop at a local mall, eat at a restaurant, etc. Yet when a couple is divorced, there may be days when one parent desires to see his or her children but the children do not have the option to stay with him or her due to the divorced couple’s parenting plan.
When caring for a child, parents and legal guardians need to be financially and emotionally capable of supporting a child to the best of their ability. Moreover, they must provide adequate care including supervision, food, clothes, medical care, and housing.
When two parents decide to file for divorce, there are a lot of factors to consider in order for the divorce to be smoothly finalized. Parenting time and visitation rights are only two of several factors to which both parents must agree.
Researchers have used everything from control groups to cohort data to determine the ways that divorce impacts children. Because of their work, society now has a better understanding of the risks, potential pitfalls, and behavioral issues that might occur in children during and after divorce. Their work has also paved a path for divorcing couples, ensuring they have an idea of how to reduce the risk of an adverse effect on their child. However, it was only recently that anyone looked at individual children to determine how they felt about the divorce process.
When a couple who has children together decides to get divorced, they will need to develop a parenting plan. A parenting plan is a document which outlines each parent’s rights and responsibilities regarding the child and serves as the cornerstone on which the couple’s ongoing co-parenting relationships will be built. According to Illinois law there are more than a dozen considerations that must be addressed in a parenting plan including things like the child’s permanent address for the purposes of school enrollment and a parenting time schedule for each parent. There are other, optional elements that can be included in a parenting plan as well, including the right of first refusal. If your parenting plan provides you with the right of first refusal, it is important to understand what that means.
When a family court issues an order, it expects that the parties will follow it. If your spouse—or ex-spouse—refuses to comply with an existing court order, a family law attorney can help you understand your available options. In some cases, your best choice is to file a Rule to Show Cause or a Contempt Action.
While there are specified time limits on how often you can modify your allocation of parental responsibilities under Illinois law, there are several exceptions to these limits. Since circumstances concerning children change over time, the allocation of parental responsibilities also is likely to change over time. In some cases, however, parents cannot agree on how or whether to change the existing allocation of parental responsibilities, which requires the court to make a decision on the issue for the parties, often with the help of a guardian ad litem or another professional who can make recommendations to the court.
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.
Often likened to a death in the family, divorce is one of the most stressful events a person can experience in their life. Even an amicable divorce can be difficult to cope with. Add children into the mix, and matters can get even more complicated. For children, divorce can be a very stressful and emotional experience. To a child, parents separating can feel like the end of the world. They may fear the future, worry that they will never see one of their parents again, or feel responsible for their parent’s split. Fortunately, children can and do recover from divorce all the time. While the divorce period itself may be rough, and the transition from a single household to a co-parenting situation can be challenging, your children will recover. In the meantime, here are a few dos and do not’s for parents hoping to help their child cope with the news of their divorce.
Walk through any department store in the country and the reminders are everywhere. With ubiquitous commercials shouting from the television and printed circulars filling the mailbox, it seems the specials and sales start increasingly earlier every year. Yet somehow, the approach of a new school year still manages to sneak up on many families. Back-to-school season can present challenges to any family, but for parents who have gone through a divorce, there is much more to consider for their children as they start school this fall.