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Raising children can be a difficult job, even in the best of situations. When parents live in different homes, have different beliefs or ideals, or disagree on how a child should be raised, parenting can become a contentious situation. To make matters worse, children can feel as though they are caught in the middle. As a result, they may lash out, become withdrawn, or suffer severe emotional trauma. Protect your child, save your sanity, and learn how you can reduce the stress of co-parenting with help from the following information.

Accountability and Boundaries

While most parents do want what is best for their child, there is a small fraction that seem to struggle with the accountability aspect of parenting. They may not understand the pain they cause when they do not show up for a scheduled visit or event. Some fail to recognize how not paying child support impacts their child's overall quality of life. Still others may behave in ways that create a cause for concern.

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Not every family law case has to be resolved by a judge. Even cases where the two sides are far apart can sometimes be settled through mediation. Mediation gives both sides more control over the outcome of their case and also allows the disagreement to be resolved efficiently and with sensitivity. However, to have the best chance at a successful mediation, you must be prepared.

Understanding Your Case

Before you can get what you are hoping for out of mediation, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case. With the help of your lawyer you can develop a strategy that highlights the strengths of your case and downplays any weaknesses. While mediation is about building consensus, it is also about helping both sides know where they stand if the case should go to trial.

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In your family law case, you and your child's other parent will be expected to complete and submit a temporary parenting plan to the court. The parenting plan will often affect your life and the life of your family on a day-to-day basis.

The Judge Wants Parents to Agree

Judges want parents to agree on a parenting plan. The reason that a family law case starts out with both sides submitting a temporary parenting plan is because judges understand that children need stability. The faster parents can come to an agreement on at least a temporary plan, the smoother life will usually go for the children.

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After a final decision has been reached in your family law case, you only have a short time to decide if you should file an appeal. Not every case is suited for an appeal. You need to have your case evaluated by a lawyer with experience in bringing appeals of family law cases.

Timelines and Options

Illinois law usually requires that any appeals of final orders be filed within 30 days of the order being issued. The first document you file is a Notice of Appeal. While appeals of custody orders are often heard on an accelerated docket, most appeals take months, or sometimes longer, to be completed.

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