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naperville divorce lawyerOne of the most complicated aspects of a divorce is deciding what is best for your children. If you and your spouse have had children together, it can further convolute an already confusing and stressful event. Learning how to navigate custody, deciding upon a fair parenting plan, and understanding child support can be very overwhelming for an individual. Fortunately, the experienced professionals at Hendrix Law firm can help guide you through the process and provide peace of mind.  

How are Custody and Child Support Determined?

After a divorce, the custody of the children will be decided based on a number of factors.  Every case is unique, but many typical cases are based on similar factors including:

  • Education and possible relocation for the children

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naperville child custody lawyerAlthough most divorced parents in Illinois are eager to spend more time with their kids, a few parents are flaky or disinterested. While on the surface, this may seem like a great way for the other parent to get more time with the kids, in reality, it leads to frustrated plans and - even worse - disappointed children. If you are in this situation, you already know how hard it can be to deal with an ex who does not show up for his or her parenting time. The good news is that there are options for taking action. 

What is Parenting Time? 

Parenting time, formerly known as visitation in Illinois, is the schedule that describes each parent’s allotted time with their child. Usually, parenting time kicks in once a parenting plan has been established after a divorce, but parents who have never been married can create a court-ordered parenting plan as well. 

Illinois courts begin with the presumption that both parents are fit to spend time with their child, and absent evidence proving otherwise, will work hard to ensure both parents get parenting time. A great parenting plan allows both parents to maintain a warm relationship with their child while also having the structure and predictability to allow each parent to carry out their lives. 

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Plainfield Child Custody LawyerFor divorcing parents, child custody is usually one of the most important aspects of divorce. Some parents are able to reach an agreement about child custody issues relatively easily while others struggle to find any common ground at all. If you and your spouse are divorcing and you have different opinions about how you should handle child custody issues, you may be feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Child custody disputes can be contentious. However, there are many alternative resolution methods available to spouses in this situation that may help them reach an agreement.

Parenting Plans in a Naperville Divorce Case

Parents who file for divorce are asked to create a parenting plan and submit it to the court. The parenting plan covers everything from who keeps the children on what days to how parents will handle any future modifications to the plan.

The two main issues you must address in the parenting plan are:

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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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