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Getting child custody is not a right to exclude the other parent

When a divorce involves children, it can be even more traumatic than without children. As Illinois parents navigate this challenging process, it is essential to keep in mind that they will become ex-spouses, but never ex-parents, regardless of who gets child custody. Children -- especially younger ones -- may find it difficult to understand why their lives are being turned upside down, and making them the priority may help to maintain loving parent-child relationships with both parents.

Advisers suggest that parents make a point of discussing divorce issues away from the children. They also advise against bad-mouthing each other in front of the children when the other parent is not around. Some parents find their children to be ideal for the jobs of spies or messengers, and swearing a child to secrecy about things a parent does can only make the process even more traumatic for a child.

Some vengeful parents will use their children to prove a point or punish an ex-spouse by excluding him or her from the child's life. The choice to end the marriage was made by the parents, not the children. Preventing visitation will punish not only the other parent but also the child. Children may find it difficult to adjust to a visitation schedule by which they only see the other parent occasionally instead of every day. For that reason, compliance with the plan is crucial, and parents must consistently arrive on time for scheduled visits.

Dealing with property division and child custody issues during a divorce can be emotionally draining, but parents in Illinois need not go through a divorce without support. An experienced family law attorney can provide the necessary guidance. A lawyer can help to keep the focus on the child and ensure his or her best interests remain the focal point throughout.

Source: FindLaw, "5 Tips for How to Keep Your Kids Out of Your Divorce", Ceylan Pumphrey, March 27, 2018

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

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