Tag Archives: parenting time

Work Travel Can Interfere with Parenting TimeA parent’s work commitments can be an important factor when determining the allocation of parental responsibilities. To have a majority of the parenting time, you must show that you are consistently available to care for your children as a single parent. Work travel can affect your availability if it consistently requires you to be out of town. A parent with a heavy travel schedule may have difficulty receiving the share of parental responsibilities that he or she wants during a divorce.

Children’s Best Interest

Before arguing for a majority of the parental responsibilities, you should honestly assess whether you can fulfill that responsibility with your work travel requirements. The primary parent after a divorce is typically the one who is most available to care for the children. It may be necessary for your co-parent to have a majority of the parenting time if your work requires you to frequently stay overnight in another city. Parental responsibilities also include making decisions about how you care for your children. Ideally, your co-parent will consult you on major decisions regarding your children’s health and education. However, a court may give greater decision-making power to the parent who is more often with the children and able to act on those decisions.

Protecting Your Parental Rights

Traveling for work does not need to greatly diminish your parental responsibilities. Your travel schedule may include:

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Making Long-Distance Parenting WorkIn the years following a divorce, opportunities come up that may require two parents to live in different parts of the country. You can contest your co-parent’s decision to relocate with your children, but the court may decide that the move is in their best interest. You may also find a career opportunity in another city that is too lucrative to pass up. Long-distance parenting is a difficult adjustment for you and your children and will never feel like an ideal situation. There are ways you can maintain a healthy relationship with your children.

  1. Regular Communication: It may be impractical to see your children in person frequently, but you should have a weekly schedule of when you will talk to them. Your children should be able to rely on you calling them at the same times each week and feel like you will respond to them if they need to contact you. Video calls can give your conversations more intimacy than voice calls.
  2. Regular Visits: Though less frequent that your calls, your in-person visits with them should also follow a regular pattern. Most of the time, you will need to travel to them for your visits. You can ask a court to consider your travel expenses when calculating your child support payments.
  3. Longer Visits: Your children can also travel to visit you, but it will be better for them to have a few long visits each year than several short visits. This lessens the stress of them traveling and gives you more uninterrupted time with them. Summer vacation is usually the best time for them to visit you because they can stay for several weeks.
  4. Normal Interaction: Long-distance parents may try to make up for not seeing their children more often by giving them gifts or planning fun outings during each visit. This gives them an unhealthy expectation that your relationship is based on you spoiling them. Being with them and doing normal activities should be enough. Save the gifts for special occasions.
  5. Cooperation: Long-distance parenting works best when your co-parent accommodates your efforts to contact and visit your children. As the full-time parent, he or she has even greater responsibility for your children than before. Your co-parent can make your parenting easier by preparing your children for your visits.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney

You need to modify your parenting agreement when you and your children no longer live near each other. A Kane County family law attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you create a new parenting schedule that allows you to see your children. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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The Best Divorce Parenting Plan for InfantsNo age is too young for your divorce to emotionally affect your child. Infants do not understand divorce as a concept, but they notice changes in their routines and their parents’ emotions. Unlike older children, they cannot express how they feel in words, leaving them only their behavior. It is common for young children of divorce to become irritable, clingy, depressed, or anxious. Your parenting time is vital towards your young child’s development because he or she needs regular contact with both parents to develop bonds of support and trust.

Consistent Routines

Children form their attachments with their parents during infancy, and missing that stage of bonding can affect a child-parent relationship for the rest of their lives. A parenting schedule usually gives the children extended visits with each parent, but the frequency of bonding time is more important with infants that duration. Two hours every day or every other day may be sufficient bonding time for the non-primary parent. When creating a parenting plan for your infant, remember that:

  • Your child needs your undivided attention and care during your parenting time;
  • Your scheduled visits should be consistent and include familiar routines;
  • Long visits are more appropriate when you see your child frequently; and
  • An infant will become distressed if away from his or her primary caregiver for an extended period.

Breastfeeding

There is no law dictating whether a mother or father should be the primary parent of a child, but the mother receives a majority of the parenting time with an infant in most cases. A mother can use breastfeeding as one of the reasons that an infant should primarily live with her and that the father should not have long or overnight visits with the child. Breastfeeding is important for infants because it can:

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Parental Guilt Can Lead to Poor Parenting After DivorceThe effect of divorce on their children is one of the lingering factors that will cause parents to hesitate before separating. It is common for divorced parents to feel guilty about how their decision may be hurting their children. Divorced parents worry that their children:

  • Have been traumatized by the separation;
  • Are stressed by the co-parenting arrangement; and
  • Will resent them for the divorce.

Though children of divorce face hardship, parents are not helping themselves or their children by feeling guilty about it.

Problems with Guilty Parenting

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Variables Involved in Parent's Right of First RefusalA parenting plan sets the schedule for when children stay with parents who live apart, but Illinois courts generally presume that separated parents should be able to expand their parenting time when circumstances allow it. That is why some parenting plans include a right of first refusal for each parent. Special circumstances sometimes prevent a parent from being able to watch the children during his or her scheduled parenting time. The right of first refusal requires the unavailable parent to offer the other parent a chance to watch the children before asking a third party. Separating parents may agree to this provision because they know that the children are best off being with one of them. However, there are several variables to a right of first refusal provision that can cause disagreements.

Conditions

It may be impractical for a parent to be required to contact his or her co-parent every time he or she needs childcare. The co-parents must also decide how the transfer of the children would work. A right of first refusal provision includes conditions that clarify when and how the provision is used. This may include:

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174

 630-584-4800

 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563

 630-364-4046

 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187

 630-407-1777

Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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