Family courts in Illinois base any child-related decisions on the best interests of the child. Times have changed, and child custody is no longer a mother's right. Fathers have equal rights to care for their children, and although it is mostly agreed that children fare better when both parents share custody, it is no longer unusual for a father to get primary custody. However, the parent who is awarded physical custody can just as quickly have the children removed from his or her care under particular circumstances.
Heading into the holiday season might have many divorced parents in Illinois planning visitation schedules. While most parents want what is best for their children, regardless of which one has child custody, this could be a challenging process. Advisers say there are some old and established mindsets that be best replaced with new ones to benefit building more effective co-parenting relationships.
When couples in Belleville, Illinois, file for a divorce, many months or even years might go by before it is finalized. What happens to child custody and visitation during that time? The fact that the parents are in the throes of divorce indicates conflict, so it might not be a situation where parents can continue their child-related routines without encountering problems.
More and more divorcing parents in Illinois choose to avoid litigation and negotiate their own settlement agreements. This includes decisions about child custody, even if they need the services of a divorce mediator to provide a platform for negotiation. However, those who cannot reach acceptable agreements must leave the decision up to the court, based on the best interests of the child.
Most separated or divorced people in Illinois might agree that ending a marriage is never easy. Although ex-spouses might think they can finally live their lives on their own terms, if there are children, expectations and future plans will have to include them. The art of co-parenting and navigating child custody orders is complicated and requires a unified approach.
When summer vacation comes around every year, many divorced and separated parents in Illinois have problems keeping to court-ordered parenting arrangements. However, with advance planning, parents can make the most out of summer and other breaks with their children. Court child custody orders cannot be changed instantly, but help is available to reach agreements that suit all parties.
When Illinois couples decide to separate or file for divorce, they will have to make challenging decisions, especially if they have children. While each spouse will want to make sure he or she gets a fair share of the property, most parents want to ensure that they each get to spend as much as possible time with the children. The way to work that out is by negotiating a workable parenting plan that will reflect the best interests of the child rather than those of the parents.
Divorced parents in Illinois might not have been prepared for the challenges of co-parenting. The problems do not stop when the divorce is finalized. Regardless of who has child custody, parents of young children will have to work out parenting plans to facilitate communication and decision making for years to come. If they can find a way to do that amicably, it will benefit parents and help the children to adjust to the new circumstances.
Parental kidnapping or custodial interference sometimes happen when parents are involved in divorce disputes. An emotionally distraught parent might take a child to another state without the consent of the other parent. This could happen before or after a court has awarded child custody, and it is a crime that could be prosecuted as a felony under Illinois State or federal law.
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.