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What Happens if Parents Disagree About Child Custody During Divorce?

Posted on in Child Custody

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:

Parenting time – Previously called “visitation,” parenting time is the time a parent spends with his or her child. You will be asked to create a parenting time schedule or a detailed method for determining the division of parenting time between the spouses.

Parental responsibilities – This refers to a parent’s decision-making authority. Parents may assign all decision-making authority to one parent or agree to make decisions jointly. The parents may also divide parental responsibilities according to the type of decision. For example, if one parent is a teacher, he or she may be in charge of educational decisions.

Methods for Resolving Child-Related Disputes

If parents cannot reach an agreement on the terms of the parenting plan, they may each submit their own plan to the court. Most Illinois courts require divorcing parents to attend mediation if they disagree on parenting issues. Parents work with a mediator in hopes of reaching a solution they can both agree to.

Parents may also discuss child-related issues during the collaborative divorce process. Collaborative law is often a useful option for parents who want to involve child experts in the decision-making process. A collaborative team may include child specialists, social workers, child psychologists, or other professionals who can help you determine what is best for the child.

If parents are unable to negotiate an agreement about child custody through their attorneys or reach a solution through collaborative law or mediation, the last resort is a child custody trial. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will present evidence to the judge, call witnesses to the stand, and argue your claims. The other parent’s lawyer will do the same. The judge will evaluate all the information and make a final decision.

Contact a Naperville Child Custody Lawyer

If you are a parent getting divorced, contact a Will County divorce lawyer from Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. for help. Call 630-355-7776 for a free, confidential consultation.



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