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Wheaton parenting plan lawyerWhile most parents recognize that it is important they get along and work together to raise their children, many struggle with this concept after a divorce. Even a few moments with their ex may spark feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness, sadness, or guilt. When those feelings lead to an argument, children can begin to feel as though they are responsible for the continued conflict, which may be the exact opposite of what caring, loving parents want. In these situations, parallel parenting may be a viable alternative.

What Is Parallel Parenting?

Parallel parenting seeks to reduce conflict between parents by encouraging disengagement between parents, rather than engagement. Each parent works independently toward the best interest of their child, focusing solely on their personal relationship with the child. No ill words are spoken about the other parent around the child, each household is run as each parent sees fit, and there is very little contact between the adults. Success in this parenting method relies upon the respect for one another’s boundaries and privacy. As such, a comprehensive plan should be developed, generally with the assistance of a skilled legal professional, such as a family law attorney.

Tips for Implementing a Parallel Parenting Plan

In a parallel parenting plan, parents should avoid contact as much as possible. Parallel parenting would not be necessary if the parents got along well with one another. Of course, they still have children to raise together, and that requires at least some level of communication. Preferably, this communication should take place through email, text messages, or another form of written communication. However, when there is a need to discuss matters in person, some basic boundaries may be able to help you avoid unnecessary conflict. Ideas could include:

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton, IL family law attorney for divorce or legal separationWhen you and your spouse have children together, you may feel pressured to stay in an unhappy marriage for their sake. Perhaps you fear that your children will be caught in the middle of a messy divorce process, or you may be worried about how their lives will change if they no longer live in a two-parent household. These are certainly valid concerns, but staying together may have negative effects on your children as well. Rather than delaying the inevitable, it may be best to consider your options for a divorce that leaves both you and your children in a better place.

How Staying Together Can Harm Your Children

You may have good intentions for attempting to stay together, but this can be harmful for your children in ways that you may not expect. For example, if you and your spouse are frequently angry with each other and engaging in destructive conflict, you may be modeling an unhealthy relationship in a way that affects how your children approach their own relationships. This is especially true if there is physical or emotional abuse in your household, not to mention the fact that your children may be at risk of physical or mental harm. If you are preoccupied with conflict in your marriage, you may also be unable to devote the time, energy, and attention to your children that they need.

Alternatives That Can Help Your Children

If your marriage is struggling, there are often more productive options than simply trying to ignore or cope with the problems. Some alternatives that can help both you and your children include:

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Posted on in Child Custody

DuPage County parenting plan modification lawyerDuring the process of your divorce, it is important to reach a resolution on a parenting plan in accordance with your children’s best interests at the time. However, chances are that your life situation will change significantly in the years following your divorce, and the original parenting plan may no longer meet your children’s needs or your own. When this is the case, you should consider pursuing a legal modification to the parenting plan that better accounts for your family’s current circumstances.

Reasons to Modify Your Parenting Agreement in Illinois

After your divorce, you may modify a parenting time agreement at any time as long as you can demonstrate that the change is in your children’s best interests. Parental decision-making responsibilities, on the other hand, typically cannot be modified until two years after the original agreement was finalized, except in circumstances in which the children’s mental or physical health is at risk. Specific reasons to modify your parenting plan may include:

  • A parent’s move: A move to a new home within 25 or 50 miles may necessitate some changes to your parenting time schedule, while a longer-distance relocation may require a major adjustment, as well as additional approval from the court.

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DuPage Count divorce attorney child custody order modificationAfter your divorce, if certain circumstances change with regards to your co-parent, you might want to consider the modification of child custody orders. However, doing something like petitioning for sole custody of your children or significantly altering parenting timechild visitation rights, allocation of parental responsibilities, or parenting plans can often be a contentious and complex legal issue. You need to be sure you have a strong case to request such modifications. Below are some signs it might be time for you to request modifications of child custody orders or other orders pertinent to parenting.

5 Warning Indicators That Child Custody Modification Is a Good Idea

While many indications that you might need to assume sole custody of your children are more obvious than others, there are still plenty of warning signs—both blatant and subtle—that now might be the right time to take legal action. Overall, the most important thing to consider with any order modifications related to your kids is whether making such changes will be in your children’s best interests. Here are some of the most significant reasons to seek such modifications:

  1. You suspect your co-parent is abusing your children, be it physically, sexually, or in any other way that causes harm to them. In most cases, if your children are found to be in immediate harm’s way, this will expedite such modification orders.

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DuPage County divorce lawyer COVID-19 child custodyOver the last few months, it may have become increasingly difficult for you and your co-parent to properly follow your court-approved parenting plan. You both want to fulfill your parental responsibilities and ensure that you can spend a fair amount of parenting time with your kids, but you also do not want to put anyone’s health or safety at risk. Conflicts in these areas may be even worse if you and your co-parent have different philosophies regarding the Illinois Stay-at-Home Order. Governor Pritzker deemed from the beginning of the order that it is essential for parents to honor their court-ordered parenting commitments, but under certain circumstances, doing so might not be a good idea. Here are some things to consider while you both adapt to the “new normal” as co-parents during a crisis:

What to Consider When Addressing Co-Parenting Conflicts

Perhaps your co-parent refuses to wear a mask in public as ordered by the governor, or your co-parent has accused you of not keeping your home sanitary enough during these challenging times. Before getting into a heated argument about these issues, you may want to consider some of these main points when addressing each grievance:

  • Remain calm. Heated arguments will not do anyone any good. During a crisis such as this, contentious disputes can be even more detrimental than under normal circumstances. It certainly will not help your children if they witness any of that behavior, since they likely already dealing with enough stress.

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