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Tips for Adjusting to a Parenting Time Schedule in an Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Plainfield parenting time attorney

When most people get married, they intend the union to last a lifetime. However, that is not always the case due to various reasons. Statistics show that between 40 and 50 percent of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. In some cases, infidelity, abuse, financial or cultural differences can put a significant strain on a relationship, causing it to break down. Spouses may try counseling to save their marriage, but in many cases, it might be too little, too late, ultimately leading to the difficult decision to part ways. When a couple has children together, there are many issues that need to be resolved before the divorce can be finalized in Illinois. This includes the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, formerly known as child custody and visitation. Divorce typically requires an adjustment period for everyone involved, but an experienced family law attorney can guide you through the process.  

Creating an Effective Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is a legal document that outlines important matters that affect any children in a divorce, including how those decisions will be made. This plan also includes a parenting time schedule, which specifies what days of the week each parent sees his or her children. 

Below are a few of the major child-related issues that your parenting plan must include:

  • Where the child will reside

  • The amount of time the child spends with each parent

  • How each parent will receive vital information about the child

  • How the child will be transported during parenting time

Advice for Making the Transition Smoother

Similar to adults, it can take children a long time to come to terms with a divorce. It may be difficult for them to accept the fact that their family unit as they have known it will no longer exist. Splitting time between two households may make kids feel anxious and cause them to act out. Here are a few simple things that both parents can do to help address common parenting time issues:

  • Keep the lines of communication open: Parents should make an extra effort to openly communicate with each other after a divorce, especially in regard to their children. Whether it be through phone calls, emails, or text messages, it is important to be available and willing to listen to your ex-spouse’s viewpoint, even if you do not always agree with him or her. If your child wants to speak to your ex when he or she is with you, make an exception if he or she has exciting news to share.

  • Be flexible and cooperative: Life can throw many curveballs, so it is essential that you as a parent model appropriate behavior when things do not always go your way. For example, if you get sick, the other parent typically has the right of first refusal to care for the kids. This means allowing the other parent to take the children even when it is not their designated parenting time. Likewise, if you would like the kids to attend a family wedding with you, your ex could trade weekends with you so they can go. 

  • Demonstrate patience and understanding: It is important for kids to be heard, regardless of their ages. Listen to your children’s feelings, even if they are expressing anger toward you and your spouse about the breakup of the family. Going back and forth between households can be daunting, so give them time to adjust to this new routine. Allowing children to vent can go a long way in building a stronger relationship with them in the future.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Divorce is not an easy process, even if you and your spouse have made this decision amicably. With many issues to resolve, it can be a challenging endeavor. The Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. has extensive experience in resolving many types of divorce cases to favorable outcomes. Our knowledgeable and compassionate Naperville parenting time lawyers will advocate on your behalf to make sure your rights are protected. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 630-355-7776.


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