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Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton family law attorneysDivorces represent one of the most difficult challenges that two people will ever face in their lives. While the decision to separate can be a healthy and amicable one, it can still be emotionally challenging to begin a life without your former partner. Divorces can also become contentious, due to issues of financial security and resource allocation. Still, nothing seems to bring more emotional stress to a divorce than the presence of children.

If you are in the midst of a divorce and your former spouse is seeking sole-custody of your children, it is time to begin working toward a parental visitation schedule. Every good parent wants to play a role in their child’s life; contacting a quality legal team can help you do just that.

How a Visitation Schedule is Made

Here in the state of Illinois, the vast majority of visitation conflicts are resolved through either mediation or extensive negotiation. This type of conflict resolution enables both parties to work towards a schedule that is mutually beneficial. A mediation resolution also offers parents an opportunity to begin their new parental relationship. Finding a way to come together and build a schedule that works for both parents, and highlights the best interest of the children involved, can be a good first step in the new parental dynamic.

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Joint-Custody Parenting Can Be a Healthy Option for Children

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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While divorce is stressful for everyone involved, it is children who are at the greatest risk for serious mental and emotional complications. Knowing this, parents are encouraged to do everything they can to monitor and protect their children. Learn how to recognize stress in your child, understand your options for dealing with it, and know where to seek support.

Signs That Suggest Your Child is Stressed

Indications of stress in children can vary greatly, depending on the age of the child. For example, younger children may display regressive behavior, such as bedwetting, baby talk, and temper tantrums. School-aged children may exhibit hyperactive behavior, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating on school work or homework, and they may overreact to minor problems. Older children may begin to withdraw from family and friends, may also overreact to minor issues, and could be at risk for depression, sleeping disorders, or eating disorders.

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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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Although divorce is, at its core, the ending of an adult relationship, it is not just the parents who are affected. In fact, children often experience stress, grief, and even anger during the process. This is understandable, considering their lives are also being turned upside down. Paired with their inability to fully comprehend the reason behind the divorce, they can be at great risk for long-term problems. Thankfully, parents who are intentional, mindful, and empathetic to their child's struggles can minimize the risk of lasting troubles. The following information can help you take this approach in your divorce.

Ripping the Band-Aid Off

Parents often think that, if they stay together for the children, things will be easier. Though they live with the regret of staying in an unhappy marriage, it somehow seems worth it if their children turn out okay. Unfortunately, what a lot of parents do not know is that staying together for the children is rarely a good thing. This is especially true when there is a lot of conflict in the marriage. In fact, studies have indicated that it is stress in a household - not an actual divorce - that negatively affects children. So, despite your reservations, despite any worries you may have, it is often best to simply move forward. You should also move forward with intention, and without delay. The longer you stay, the more damaging the effect on your children may be.

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