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1776 S. Naperville Road, Building B, Suite 202,
Wheaton, IL 60189
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

Wheaton custody lawyersThousands of American couples divorce each year - but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Divorces can offer disgruntled spouses a new opportunity to find love and excitement in their lives. Yet for parents, getting a divorce can come with major complications. Separating parents are posed with hard-hitting questions like: Where will our children live? Will I still get to see my kids? How will this impact our children’s development?

In many cases, the easiest solution to all these questions comes in the form of a joint-custody parenting agreement. A joint-custody parenting agreement is defined as a court order in which parenting responsibility is given to both parties, and both parents are named custodial parents. If you believe that a divorce is the best option for you and your family, it may be time to contact a knowledgeable team of divorce lawyers.

Simple Tips to Successful Joint-Custody Parenting

When signing off on a joint-custody parenting agreement, it is important to understand the necessary components to make the parenting dynamic a successful one.

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DuPage County child custody lawyer guardian ad litemWhen dealing with the emotions of divorce, children often struggle to come to terms with the end of their parents’ relationship. The uncertainty that comes with the major changes in their lives can cause children to experience stress, anxiety, and depression. For children going through a divorce, the more emotional support they can get, the better. Because of this, many courts elect to appoint an attorney to deal with issues related specifically to the children involved in a divorce case. 

This type of attorney is most commonly referred to as a guardian ad litem (GAL), and they are routinely appointed in cases involving child custody disputes, domestic abuse incidents, and issues related to child support. If you are in the midst of a divorce, and you believe the well-being of your children may be at risk, asking your legal team about the possibilities of appointing a guardian ad litem may be critically important in ensuring your child ends up in the healthiest living situation. 

Guardians Ad Litem in Illinois 

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Naperville child custody lawyerAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 827,000 divorces each year across the United States. While divorce can be a traumatizing and emotionally challenging time for the spouses that are separated, kids can also face immense emotional trauma as they attempt to cope with the prospect of their parents’ separation. 

Divorce represents a change of monumental proportions in children’s lives. For young children, divorce can bring on an increased sense of dependency. For older children, divorce can increase levels of independence and even lead to substance abuse, academic decline, and disinterest in prior activities. Since you want what is best for your children, you should be aware that a joint-custody plan can often be the healthiest option for families.

The Benefits of a Joint-Custody Agreement 

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custodial court hearing, single father, DuPage County family law attorneys, divorce settlement, divorce processDespite widely held misconceptions that fathers cannot be awarded custody during a divorce settlement, fathers do end up with custody of their children in many cases. While the vast majority of courts will lean towards joint custody as the optimal parenting strategy after a divorce, it is unlawful for courts to show bias against fathers looking to gain sole or substantial joint custody.

Inherent biases, however, can still find their way into courtrooms, and fathers still seem to struggle to gain custody at the same rate as mothers. According to the United States Department of Commerce, roughly 17 percent (or one in every six) of custodial parents are fathers.

If you are in the midst of a divorce settlement, it is important to know how to prepare yourself for the courtroom. Preparation is especially critical for fathers fighting for substantial custodial privileges. With that in mind, listed below are simple tactics that can help you prepare you for a custodial court hearing.

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The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

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.

Shared physical custody allows both parents to spend approximately equal time with their children. This can be a good option for families that have both parents actively involved in child rearing. However, in situations where one parent took on the primary role of care giver while the other remained less involved, shifting to a situation where the less-involved parent is expected to increase the level of involvement might be difficult.

Even if both parents played active roles in their children's lives, they each should also consider their relationship with their ex. If their divorce was excessively difficult and a significant amount of animosity toward one another remains, sharing custody can be stressful for their children. Significant differences in parenting philosophies may also cause issues with this type of arrangement.

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