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Is shared child custody right for my family?

One of the biggest questions parents struggle with during a divorce is, "Will I lose time with my kids?" Shared custody may feel like an appropriate choice to address this concern, and indeed it is a valid choice for many families in Illinois. Still not sure if it's the best option for your family? Here's a few things to consider for your child custody agreement.

Joint or shared child custody -- what is the difference?

When Illinois couples decide to end their marriages and go their separate ways, the divorce process can be complicated -- particularly if there are children involved. While most parents want what is best for their children, it could be challenging to balance the needs and schedules of the children with their own. Before making decisions about child custody, it might be best to understand the differences between joint and shared custody.

Lawmakers consider changes to child custody laws

Many Illinois parents likely understand that it is always best to reach an agreement between both parties during the divorce process that is in the best interests of their children. Child custody orders put in place by the court are a common way to ensure the physical and emotional needs of any children involved are met. However, on some occasions, a child custody battle is not between two parents, but between parents and the state.

Child custody orders should be shared with schools

In order to have parents and school officials on the same page, it can be helpful to share important family information. If the parents are divorced, and a child custody order is in place, sharing the order with the school can help prevent confusion. Illinois families typically create custody orders during a divorce, which set the guidelines for legal and physical custody. When the information is shared with the school, the parents can work with the school to ensure that the proper procedures are followed. 

Child custody laws up for debate in Illinois

Changing trends regarding parenting after divorce may soon be affecting laws in the state. Recently, a bill was introduced on the floor at the Illinois statehouse that asks for changes in how child custody is handled during divorce cases. The requested move will favor a co-parenting model instead of the more common one-parent guardianship that often happens in these types of cases. 

Child custody is for mothers and fathers

A parent, no matter whether a father or a mother, has a great influence on a child's life. Research reveals that strong relationships with both parents matter, and that if a couple with children separates, most often the best solution is shared parenting. In the case where a mother does not have the ability to care for children because of substance issues or criminal convictions, a father may be awarded child custody. In the past, it has been difficult for fathers to get sole custody because of outmoded ideas about rearing children. In Illinois, and across the United States, more fathers are fighting for a fair chance at custody of children. 

Shared child custody may have benefits for children

Most families want to do the best they can for their children. A family in which the parents are going through a divorce may struggle to find the right balance for parenting now that the parents live separately. In the past, many child custody agreements tended to be one-sided, with one parent retaining the children most of the time. New evidence about the children of divorced parents is changing custody trends, however. Individuals in Illinois facing divorce may be interested to learn more about the possible benefits of shared custody. 

Sharing child custody can be an unexpected blessing

Some people dread the thought of the two-house Christmas. Any holiday can give a divorced parent a feeling of apprehension, knowing that they will have to share the day with their co-parent, but sharing child custody actually has its perks. Co-parents in Illinois can open their minds to the unexpected benefits of sharing the kids over the holidays and actually reap the rewards of sharing the workload.

Child custody during the holidays

The most wonderful times of the year can be a little stressful, too. In between enjoying the company of family and celebrations comes the hustle and friction also. For families undergoing divorce in Illinois, that stress can sometimes be amplified. A detailed child custody plan along with a pinch of positivity may be the soothing balm for holiday flare-ups. 

Study Suggests Children of Divorce Are More Likely to Suffer from Obesity Later in Life

Obesity is a pandemic issue that costs Americans billions in healthcare costs each year. It can also increase one's risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and other obesity-related conditions. In short, is a killer and a thief. Thankfully, things have slowly started to turn around; people are becoming more aware of what they eat and how often they exercise. They are taking back control over their health. 

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