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Oak Park divorce attorney parenting time

The period immediately following your divorce can be among the most challenging times of your and your family members’ lives. If you are a newly divorced person who shares children with your former spouse, you and your kids may be entering into uncharted waters over the next few months. Both you and your children are likely to be experiencing a sense of grief, though this emotion arises differently for different people. There is no “one size fits all” approach to overcoming your post-divorce emotions, but how you handle the transition period can help your kids move forward into your new future as a family more resilient than before.

Build a Unified Gameplan

As previously mentioned, there are no cookie cutter means by which to make this transition feel natural. You and your co-parent should, however, have a clear understanding of how you will proceed in terms of caring for your kids and maintaining a civil, if not amicable, relationship. You should have a specific plan of action before notifying your children that divorce is your next step as a family. Who will live where? How often will they stay with their other parent? Where is their other parent moving to? You should have answers to all of these questions so that you are prepared to present your kids with a unified front moving forward. This will reassure them that despite your impending divorce, both of their parents will continue to be actively involved in their lives.

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Hillside parenting planNow into its eighth month of significant impact in the U.S., COVID-19 continues to be a daily concern in all areas of life. In public, masks and social distancing are required. In the workplace, many are continuing to work remotely to avoid infection. And in schools, each district has its own arrangements for how students are completing their assignments. Illinois is now in its fourth phase of the reopening process, with stay-at-home orders now ended but group gatherings continuing to be restricted. 

Since the start of the COVID-19 restrictions, divorced parents have still had to continue abiding by their existing court-mandated parenting plans. This includes each parent’s scheduled parenting time as well as their child’s dual living arrangements. Due to the unpredictability of COVID-19 and the vulnerability of particular populations, at the present time, some families may be unsure of how to navigate these unprecedented circumstances.

Key Considerations for Two-Household Families

Most children with divorced parents split their time between two households. Even if your arrangement typically works well for your family, you may feel that you now need to adjust the situation based on your health circumstances with regard to COVID-19. If you believe that adjustments need to be made in the interests of your child’s health and your health as a parent, you should consider the following questions:

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Hillside, IL family law attorney for co-parenting

If you are a newly-single parent adapting to life after divorce, moving on may be difficult, and you may be dealing with negative feelings toward your ex-spouse. Although it can be difficult to put those feelings aside, fostering the growth and development of your child should continue to be your primary goal. One dreaded scenario that may arise is meeting your ex’s new partner. This can be a challenging and stressful situation, but you will likely want to make an effort to get to know that person, as they will be a significant party in your child’s life. The following three tips can help the three of you work together as co-parents toward a happy and healthy upbringing for your child:

Understand the Position You Are in

You are likely to have mixed emotions about your ex’s new relationship, and this may lead to confusion for your child. The behaviors and feelings displayed by a parent can shape the thoughts and actions of children. Even though you may not be happy about meeting and dealing with your former spouse’s new partner, being willing to get to know them can be a good example for your child, encouraging them to form new relationships and branch out to meet new people. Ultimately, you cannot control what your ex does in their personal life, but demonstrating acceptance of their new partner will likely promote your child’s happiness and well-being in both households.

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Oak Park parental responsibility attorneyFor divorced parents, sharing parental responsibilities during the summer months is often tricky, despite the relaxed, school-free schedule. Summer is a prime time for vacations, transitions, and being with family. However, the short time period for summer vacation often makes it harder for parents and children to get into a regular routine. Just as soon as you seem to get a good rhythm going, school is back in session, and a new routine must begin. Although they are necessary, changes in routine can often be difficult for kids and parents alike. These tips can help you lessen the anxiety for yourself and your children during the summer:

Avoid Doing Too Much

Although kids seem to have a never-ending supply of energy, they do look forward to the relaxed days of summer. Many parents seek to keep the kids entertained with camps, trips, and other exciting activities. What children do not often tell you is that they are just as happy sitting on the sofa with the family. Enjoy the slow moments while you have them; school will be back in session before you know it.

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Illinois family law attorneyIt used to be said that children were resilient, and they could recover easily from divorce. We now know this is not true. Recent studies suggest that children may experience a host of problems during and after a divorce, including everything from emotional, behavioral, and mental health problems, to maladjustment and developmental issues. Thankfully, parents can mitigate against such problems. The following information explains how.

Strive for a Child-Centered Divorce

It might not have felt this way, but your child has always been separate from your marriage. Yes, you and your spouse may have conceived and parented together, but the relationship that each of you has with your child is individual, special, and unique. Though the marriage is ending, the bond between the child and each parent remains. Parents who remember this and strive to protect not just their own relationship with the child, but also the child’s relationship with the other parent, often see fewer negative issues arise with their children during and after the divorce process. So, watch what you say around your child, and avoid oversharing details about the divorce, and you may successfully protect your child’s need for unconditional love, time, and attention from both parents.

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