Tag Archives: children of divorce

Review Your Parenting Plan for Summer Vacation

summer, Wheaton family law attorneyIn just a matter of weeks, children throughout Northern Illinois will be done with school for the summertime. If you have children, you have probably seen signs of excitement. They may be ready to sleep in later than usual and to spend time outdoors with friends. You, the parent, may be eager for summer to arrive as well, but if you are divorced, the extended break may bring a few additional concerns. If you are currently subject to any type of shared parenting arrangement or custody order, it is time to begin making plans for the summer months ahead.

Know What Your Plan Says

The most important thing you need to do before summer break arrives is to review your existing parenting arrangements so that you are refreshed on your rights and responsibilities. Your parenting plan likely contains at least a bare-bones parenting time schedule. In some cases, the schedule may actually be quite detailed.

Many parenting plans offer the majority of the summer parenting time to the parent who gets less time with the children during the school year. This is especially common when that parent lives in another city or state. Other agreements maintain a schedule that is largely similar to the one used during the rest of the year with allowances for summer holidays, planned trips, or other special occasions.

Once you know what your parenting plan says, you can begin to make plans and to start negotiations with the other parent, if necessary. For example, if you want to take your children on a week-long vacation in July, doing so may require the other parent to give up a few days of scheduled parenting time. While this is not an unreasonable request, you should be prepared to give up some of your parenting time on another occasion to facilitate plans by the other parent.

Communication Is Key

If you and the other parent intentionally left your parenting arrangement rather vague regarding summer parenting time, you will need to communicate and work together. It is better to begin the planning process now rather than to wait until the last minute. Planning ahead allows you to know what will soon be happening, and it gives you the chance to keep your children informed as well. Your children cannot get excited about a planned event if they do not know about it.

Regardless of what has occurred between you and the other parent, do your best to remain flexible this summer—at least to a certain extent. Summer is the perfect setting for spontaneous day trips, baseball games, and picnics. Your children’s other parent may ask for an extra day to offer them an impromptu surprise, or you may have a similar idea of your own. Be willing to extend such a courtesy, as doing so can allow your children to get the most out of this summer’s break.

If you are struggling to come up with a summer parenting time schedule or your existing arrangement needs to be amended, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today.





How to Tell Your Children About the Divorce

children, Wheaton divorce attorneysWhen married parents decide to end their marriage, often their biggest concern is not for themselves, but for their children. While the changes that come with divorce can be a challenge for any child to overcome, studies show that children are more than capable of adapting to a two-home family. One thing parents often worry about when they come to the realization that their marriage is over is how they will tell the children about the split. There is no perfect way to tell your kids that you and their other parent are getting a divorce, but there are some things you can do to minimize confusion and distress during the discussion.

Have the Conversation Together as a Family

Even if you and your soon-to-be-ex cannot stand to be around each other, it can be incredibly beneficial for parents to tell children about the divorce at the same time. Presenting a united front in this way shows children that although you may be ending the marriage, you are still parents and will work together to care for the children. Using words like “we” and “us” can help reassure the children that neither parent is going to abandon them. Make sure to tell the children that this decision was made by the adults and was not the result of anything the children did.

Allow Children Space to React to the News

There is a wide variety of ways that children respond to the news of the divorce. Some children will have known that this conversation was coming while others will be completely surprised. Some children will cry or get angry when they hear of the divorce while others paradoxically have little to no visible reaction. Children may feel relieved, happy, anxious, afraid, angry, or confused when they are told that their parents are getting a divorce. After the conversation, allow your child space to feel their feelings and then follow up with them later about any loose ends or clarifications.

Be Open to Questions But Be Selective

It is always good for parents to be open to questions from their children. After the conversation about the divorce, children will probably have follow-up questions. Questions like “will we still have birthday parties?” will be easy to respond to while other questions may be more difficult to answer. Do not feel like you have to answer every question your child asks. Children do not need to know details about how or why the marriage ended, but instead, need to be reassured that their parents still love them will provide for them.

Considering Divorce?

If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, the experienced DuPage County family law attorneys at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group can help. To arrange a free, confidential consultation, call us at 630-871-1002 today.





Avoiding the Courtroom in Parental Responsibilities Proceedings

parental responsibilities, Wheaton family law attorneyChild custody disputes often provoke the most heated battles between parties. When it comes to allocating parental responsibilities, the best interests of the children sometimes take a back seat to the stress and anxiety of the parents. Especially when raised in the midst of an already contentious divorce, the resolution of parental responsibility issues may be delayed by weeks, months, or even years.

All of this can take a toll not only on parents and children but the courts as well. Next door to Illinois in South Bend, Indiana, a local newspaper recently reported on how much time family courts consume dealing with child custody disputes. The report indicated that statewide, Indiana courts take 39 minutes of a judge’s time for “the average divorce case without children.” In contrast, if children are involved, the judge will spend nearly four times as long—259 minutes on average—dealing with the parties.

There Are Alternatives to Litigation

Litigation is not inherently bad, and in some cases, it is simply unavoidable. When your children are involved, however, it is always a good idea to take a step back and ask yourself if there is an amicable way to resolve parental responsibility issues without the need for a lengthy and often expensive court fight. In fact, there are a number of methods of alternative dispute resolution that Illinois parents can avail themselves of.

Mediation is often successful in helping parents resolve child custody and related issues. Mediation means you sit down with a third party who is specially trained in resolving family law disputes. Unlike litigation or arbitration, the goal of mediation is to get the parents to develop their own solution that works for all parties concerned.

Another alternative is collaborative law. This is similar to mediation in that the parties wish to resolve parental responsibility issues without the need for formal litigation. With collaborative law, each parent still hires their own attorney. The attorneys are there to facilitate a settlement, however, and will not participate in any litigation if the discussions are unsuccessful.

Understanding All of Your Options

Alternative dispute resolution is not appropriate for every parental responsibility disagreement. If you have reason to believe the other parent is unfit or abusive, no amount of mediation or collaboration will address your concerns. At the end of the day, you need to do what is right for you and your children, even if that means going in front of a judge.

The important thing is not to act without proper advice. A passionate DuPage County family law attorney can explain all of your options and help you determine the best course of action. Contact any of our three convenient offices today if you would like to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.