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Comforting Children in New Home After DivorceChildren of divorce can have difficulty adjusting to living at a parent’s new home during scheduled parenting time. An unfamiliar house or apartment is a physical manifestation of the changes happening in a child’s life after divorce. The parent in the new home must create a familiar and comforting environment for the children. The other parent should try to put the children at ease about the new living environment. Both parents should cooperate to make a smoother transition, for the betterment of their children if not for each others’ sakes.

Preparations

Helping children adjust to a new parental home starts with the other parent at the primary home. Having two homes is an unfamiliar concept that likely makes the children nervous. It is also unavoidable as long as both sides have parenting time. Children can grow more comfortable with the concept and gain a sense of control by helping:

Back-To-School Tips for Newly Divorced ParentsIt is almost time for your children to return to school, if they have not already. Though your kids may dread it, you are likely looking forward to a more normal routine. For divorced parents, their parenting time schedule is built around school and school-related activities. With the start of school, they can re-establish a regular schedule of when the children will live with each parent. However, parents who have recently divorced may be unsure of how to handle back-to-school time. It is in the best interest of your children for both of you to remain active in their school lives. In order to do so, you must be willing to cooperate with each other in some situations. There are several ways to help everyone adjust to your new family situation at the start of the school year:

  1. Informing the School: With younger children especially, it is important for the school to know when a student’s parents are newly divorced. Divorce may affect your child’s behavior and academic performance. Being aware of the divorce may allow your child's teacher to help.
  2. School Supplies: Shopping is part of the tradition of going back to school. You should split the cost of back-to-school purchases. This shows that you are both invested in your child’s return to school.
  3. School Functions: You both should try to attend parent events at the school, including open houses, parent-teacher conferences and student performances. If you do not want to attend the same conference as your former spouse, contact the teacher in advance to see if you can schedule separate conferences.
  4. Extracurricular Activities: Your parenting time likely accounts for your children’s school hours, but it may not predict the time commitment for after-school activities. You need to determine which parent will be responsible for dropping off or picking up a child from an activity. If the activities are disproportionately detracting from your time with your children, you can talk with your former spouse about adjusting the schedule.
  5. Homework: When you were married, you may have been the parent responsible for helping your child with his or her homework. If you are no longer with your child during homework time, you can set up a phone call or video chat in order to help him or her.

Flexible Agreement

As much as you try to plan, you may be unable to predict all the ways your divorce will affect your child’s school life. You may discover that an adjustment in parenting time or responsibilities is in the best interest of your child. A Kane County family law attorney at Goostree Family Law can advise you on modifications to your parenting agreement. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

Kane County family law attorneyWhen you are a divorced parent, it can be very difficult to find the time to do things that interest you. Between your obligations for work and caring for your children, it may seem impossible to pursue hobbies or spend time with friends. Your own health, however, depends on you being able to develop an identity as an individual with interests outside of your children. One of the biggest challenges that divorced parents often face is finding a babysitter or someone to care for their children when such care is needed. If you need child care arrangements, your parenting plan may dictate that your first call must be to the child’s other parent.

The Right of First Refusal

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act Provides that a parenting plan may include what is known as the right of first refusal if the parents agree or if ordered by the court. The right of first refusal refers to an arrangement in which a parent requiring child care must first offer the other parent the opportunity for additional parenting time before seeking alternate arrangements. While this may sound complicated, the right of first refusal is often fairly straightforward in practice.

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