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Wheaton divorce attorneysFor most parents navigating the divorce process, every decision is centered around the well-being of their children. A divorce can be an incredibly difficult emotional process for all members of the family, but watching parents separate can be especially challenging for children to process.

Some parents elect to fight for sole custody in their divorce. This decision can be based on a number of factors, primarily relating to one spouse’s doubts regarding the other spouse’s ability to navigate parenting responsibilities. Yet, if both parties still believe in the other spouse’s parenting ability, it may be best to begin discussing the possibility of a shared custody parenting plan.

How Shared Custody Can Impact Your Child 

According to statistics compiled by the United States Census Bureau, there are approximately 13.4 sole-custody parents living in the United States. In some cases, sole-custody is the right decision to make for your child’s well-being, but there are numerous benefits to exploring the possibility of shared custody.

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DuPage County divorce lawyerWhen going through the divorce process, the vast majority of Americans are concerned about their financial well-being, post-divorce, and their eagerness to move forward from the relationship. For parents, however, the divorce process can be the most emotionally stressful time in their lives. When fighting for decision-making power in the lives of their children - whether full, partial, or somewhere in between - parents are sometimes faced with the thought that they may have very little say over their child's life, upbringing, or education. 

Parents who fear that their spouse may make poor decisions may also worry about the potential consequences that their children may face, should they become collateral damage in a negative situation. Fortunately, a quality legal team can assist you in winning custody (the power to have final say over decisions regarding your children) using knowledgeable and aggressive representation.

Why You Should Be the Primary Custodial Parent?

An experienced family law attorney will always ask you what your top priorities are throughout the divorce process. For parents with minor children, the highest priority is routinely child custody. In order to win a custody battle, it is important to focus on why you should be the one awarded final decision-making power, as well as why your former-spouse should not.

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County child support lawyersWhen making the difficult decision to file for divorce, people are faced with new and turbulent challenges. In many cases, couples with children do not feel that the other parent should maintain a parental relationship with their children, so they attempt to win sole-custody of the minors involved. A sole-custody victory should be celebrated, but independent parenting can be incredibly challenging and expensive. If you are awarded sole-custody of your children, speak with your attorney about the development of a child support payment plan.

The Importance of Child Support

Of the 13.4 million sole-custody parents living in the United States, just under half of them have child support plans in place to help them care for their children. Child support can make a massive difference for single-parents trying to work and raise children at the same time. Here in the United States, the average child support payments amount to $5,774 annually. Unfortunately, very few sole-custody parents in need of child support receive their payments in full.

A study conducted through the use of government child support records found that only 48.5% of child support payments were paid in full, throughout 2013. While just under 30% of sole-custody parents who were owed payments received some portion of the money, an incredible 25% received no payments at all. Receiving your child support payments in full can make all the difference in enabling your family to live the life you deserve.

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Posted on in Child Custody

Wheaton child custody lawyersThe vast majority of parents yearn to remain a part of their child’s life, even after their divorce has been finalized. While a divorce signifies a monumental change in a person’s life, it should not rob a supportive and responsible parent of a relationship with their child. For fathers, winning custodial rights can be an incredibly difficult proposition. According to the United States Department of Commerce, only 17.5% of sole-custody parents are fathers. If you are attempting to gain custody of your child, find a legal team that you can believe in, and begin taking the necessary steps to convince a judge that you are prepared for independent fatherhood.

Steps Towards Earning Sole-Custody

Fighting for a role in your child’s life after a divorce can be incredibly difficult as a father. Research conducted by the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), found that a staggering 27% of all American fathers have no regular contact with their children. If you want to gain custodial rights as a father, it is important to know what steps you can take throughout the divorce process to convince a judge that you are ready for the parenting responsibilities.

Prepare for Your Child: If you truly believe that you are prepared to take on a permanent custody role, your living situation should reflect that. Make sure that you have prepared a bedroom and comfortable living situation for your child, maintain a level of cleanliness that is suitable for a child, and avoid having an abundance of alcohol or any drug paraphernalia at your house. A judge will want to know that your living situation will be a stable and safe place for your children; doing the little things can make a big difference.

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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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