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DuPage County Child Custody AttorneyThe divorce process can be difficult for parents and children. Even if it would not be healthy for parents to stay together, and a breakup will help ensure that children will not be exposed to arguments and conflict between parents, children are likely to struggle with the changes they will experience in their lives. Both parents and children may experience strong emotions during the divorce process, including anger, sadness, guilt, betrayal, and anxiety about the future. Parents will want to help their children work through these feelings in a healthy way while providing emotional support and reassurance. Unfortunately, some parents choose to take advantage of their children’s strong emotions and use them as a weapon against their former partner. This is known as parental alienation, and parents will want to understand how to recognize this behavior and the steps they can take to address the issue.

Signs That May Indicate Parental Alienation

Parental alienation involves a parent attempting to harm their children’s relationship with the other parent, such as by influencing the children’s feelings about the other parent, convincing them to choose sides in disputes between parents, or making them feel like they should not spend time with the other parent. In some cases, parental alienation may be committed unintentionally, but in others, it can be a deliberate strategy used with the intent of influencing the outcome of a child custody dispute.

Some signs of parental alienation include:

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joliet custody lawyerIf you and your divorcing spouse have children together, you are required to create a parenting plan that details how the two of you will continue to care for them after you are separated. Some of the information needed in this plan includes transportation arrangements, a parenting time schedule, and an allocation of parental responsibilites. However, matters can get complicated if you and the other parent cannot agree on a plan.

What Will Occur If and Your Spouse Cannot Come to an Agreement

Sometimes parents cannot seem to agree on a child custody arrangement. In this situation, a judge may order parents to go to mediation. During a mediation session, a court-appointed mediator will sit down with both parents and facilitate a discussion about the issues they disagree on. A mediator will not make decisions for either parent. Instead, he or she will attempt to help them come to a compromise they can both live with.

It is important to come to mediation with an open mind. If you are willing to hear the other parent and mediator’s viewpoints, you may be more likely to reach an agreement quicker. Before your mediation session, write down your proposals in a notebook so that you do not forget to bring them up. When coming up with your proposals, be sure that they reflect your child’s needs rather than your own.

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Naperville divorce lawyer for parallel parenting Not all divorces end in a peaceful manner. Sometimes the movies and television shows are accurate with their depiction of divorce and how people can act throughout the process. In some divorces, peace is simply not an option and the couple cannot even get along enough to discuss or agree on issues related to their divorce. In these highly-contested divorces, child-related issues can also be a sore subject. Many times, parents will attempt to use their children to their advantage to try to hurt the other parent. However, this can be extremely toxic and emotionally damaging to the child. Parents who cannot get along during the divorce will also not likely be able to get along after the divorce. However, when you have children together, there will always be a certain degree of communication and interaction that will be required. Co-parenting can provide many challenges for parents who do not get along with one another, but “parallel parenting” can be a helpful alternative.  

What is Parallel Parenting?

Traditional co-parenting involves both parents working together to help raise the child. However, in situations in which the parents are unable to cooperate with one another, parallel parenting may be better suited for them. Parallel parenting is simply co-parenting from a distance. The idea behind parallel parenting is to limit the interaction between the parents, that way there is less of a chance that toxic behavior will be present. 

Benefits of Parallel Parenting

Many people have touted the benefits of utilizing a parallel parenting style after a divorce that involved a lot of conflict. One of the main benefits of parallel parenting is that it reduces the chance for conflict to occur. Conflict -- especially between parents -- can be emotionally damaging for children. Children feel safer when they are in an environment that does not have a lot of conflict. The absence of conflict can help your children immensely when it comes to coping with the divorce.

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Bolingbrook child custody attorney parental relocation

It is not uncommon for one parent to move out of state following a divorce from the other parent. But when it comes to relocating with a minor child, an Illinois court must first determine if such a relocation is in the child’s best interests. Illinois law establishes a list of factors for the court to consider, including the circumstances and reasons for the relocation, the child’s educational opportunities at the new location, and whether the court can fashion a reasonable parenting plan if the move is allowed.

Illinois Court Reconsiders Earlier Decision to Deny Mother’s Request for Relocation

The parent seeking relocation bears the burden of proving that a proposed move will benefit the child. No parent should ever relocate under the assumption that the court will simply allow him or her to take the child along. In addition, should a court decide to reject a proposed relocation, the parent’s options for appeal can prove quite limited.

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