Wheaton, IL parenting plan lawyerMaking sure you and your ex-partner create a parenting plan that safeguards your child's best interests is crucial if you are going through a divorce process or terminating a long-term relationship. The choices you make throughout this challenging time will have an ongoing effect on your children.

Parenting agreements are, in most cases, better for all parties involved when the agreements are developed outside of court. However, not all divorces are straightforward, and sometimes the parties cannot agree on who will raise the children after the divorce. If this is the case, they frequently find it difficult to reach a custody arrangement either independently or via mediation. The decision about the custody arrangement may thereafter be made by the family court system as part of the couple's divorce.

What is a Parenting Agreement?

A parenting agreement is a written document that specifies how choices about a child will be made, as well as how parents will share their parenting time in a schedule. All parents of children under age 18 who are divorced, separated, or even who were never married must create a court-enforceable parenting agreement. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_wheaton-il-family-law-attorney.jpgStability is important to children and few events are as destabilizing as a divorce that requires children to begin splitting their time between parents in different Illinois households. In addition to the trauma of their parents’ separation, children must also adapt to two new households when both parents move out of the marital home. This can result in complex logistical challenges for the children, which can then manifest in concerning behavioral challenges for the parents. 

These challenges are often exacerbated at the junction between the two households as parents hand off the children to each other during parenting time changeovers. Here are four ways to minimize the stress of these changeovers for children and make the process more manageable for adults. 

Let The Kids Know What to Expect

A new situation feels more stable when you know what should happen. Kids managing complex schedules often do quite well when they know what to anticipate ahead of time. Having a calendar in a public area of the house that clearly illustrates the children’s schedule can help them set reasonable expectations and avoid unpleasant surprises. Giving regular reminders can help as well. 

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IL family lawyerAlthough many Illinois parents get divorced because they dislike their spouse, the unfortunate truth is if you share minor children, your relationship with your spouse does not end after divorce. Parenting is a never-ending job and once you are divorced, your parenting obligations are codified in a court-ordered parenting agreement which you must then abide by in cooperation with your ex.

But focusing on the stress that you feel when you have to deal with your ex during childcare exchanges is a surefire way to lose out on the special moments you can share with your kids during parenting time. Kids need the love and support of both parents, and if you can maintain your focus on your children, you are likely to benefit as well. Here are four tips for making the most of your parenting time after your Illinois divorce.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Kids are very sensitive to their parents’ moods and attitudes. If they feel like you are angry or upset every time they come to visit, they may believe it is their fault - even if your feelings have nothing to do with them. If your relationship with your spouse tends to degenerate quickly into conflict, limit interaction as much as possible so you can focus on showing your kids how excited and happy you are to be with them.

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DuPage County child custody attorneyMost parents who get a divorce in Illinois settle on a schedule for sharing parental responsibilities for their child. When the divorce first happens, courts will help parents draft a parenting plan known as a Parental Allocation Agreement.

These agreements outline the duties and responsibilities of each parent, including which home a child will spend some or all of their time in, special arrangements for holidays and other occasions, and decision-making for things such as the child’s education, religious instruction, and healthcare.

Parenting plans can also contain a provision regarding a concept called “the right of first refusal.” In this post, we will discuss what the right of first refusal is, how it is meant to help children, and how it will affect your responsibilities as a parent.

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DuPage County family law attorneySummer is quickly approaching, and while this summer may be a little different with the pandemic still ongoing, it is sure to be more hopeful than the last. This may mean that parents make plans that include their children, whether that is going on a trip or even just keeping their child for an entire week instead of just for two days on the weekend.

Summer schedules are typically very different than they are when school is in session, and that is not usually a problem when the two parents are married. After a divorce, on the other hand, this can become a much bigger issue. If you have gotten a divorce and are trying to determine what your summer will look like, below are some tips that can help.

Summer Co-Parenting Tips

Co-parenting with your former spouse during the summer may seem like a challenge, but following these tips can help make it easier. This summer, make sure to:

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