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Wheaton child custody lawyersWhen raising children, parents make a conscious decision to put the needs of their child before their own. Raising children can be nerve-wracking, stressful, and challenging, so it can be helpful to have a solid parenting team. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of a divorce, the parenting unit of father and mother is severely altered. When deciding how to approach your child custody case, it is important to know the benefits of various types of parenting plans. If you believe that sole-custody parenting is the best option for you and your family, you should fully understand the benefits and potential drawbacks.

The Benefits of Sole-Custody Parenting

A sole-custody parenting plan is, in some cases, the best option for a parent and their children. Sole-custody parenting can enable a child to maintain a certain level of consistency in their academic schedule, extra-curricular activities, and living situation. If you and your former spouse no longer have a relationship that can work as a functioning parenting team, it is likely the best option for one parent to be awarded sole custody. In cases of domestic abuse, a sole-custody parenting plan is almost always the best option.

The Potential Negatives of Sole-Custody Parenting

As mentioned above, sole-custody parenting can be the right option for a number of reasons, but a parenting plan that only involves one parent can come with some negatives. Children only living with one parent are more likely to fall below the poverty line, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. These financial concerns are, in large part, due to the fact that only approximately 50% of custodial mothers have child support plans established in court. Out of those established plans, 25% of mothers expecting to receive child support never do. A sole-custody parenting plan can also be difficult for children to cope with emotionally. Sole-custody means that the child will likely have a less significant (or even non-existent) relationship with the other parent.

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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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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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Tagged in: child custody
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

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.

Although it is often perceived as the same thing, there are differences between the two types of custody. Shared custody allows each parent physical custody by providing food, shelter and care for 50 percent of the time. However, it is a flexible arrangement by which parents can agree on parenting plans that will also accommodate their own schedules. This type of child custody allows parents to determine whether the rights to make important decisions will be shared or allocated to one parent.

With joint custody, every aspect of the child's care and upbringing must be shared equally between the two parents. A continued good relationship between them is crucial because they will have to meet frequently to make joint decisions. This arrangement prohibits one parent to make any changes to important aspects of the child's life without the consent of the other parent. This includes health care, education, religion, extracurricular activities and more.

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Tagged in: child custody
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