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Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyWhen you are going through a divorce, issues pertaining to your children are often at the top of your list of concerns. Topics like your parenting time agreement, child support, and how the divorce and any future partners will affect your relationships with your children are likely at the forefront of your mind not only while your divorce is pending, but long after it is finalized.

If your children are over the age of 18, though, you do not have to worry about issues like parenting time and child support. If they are beyond the point of needing financial help from you or your former spouse, generally in or beyond their mid-twenties, your children's needs will not come up in your divorce proceeding at all. But although adult children are not financially or physically affected by their parents' divorces, they can be affected emotionally. Consider the following as you proceed through the divorce process.

Your Children Can Understand Why You Are Divorcing

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois child custody lawsIt is unreasonable to expect a divorced individual to remain single for the rest of his or her life. As we move past a divorce and into the next phases of life, many of us find new partners. For a child, seeing his or her parent start to date, live with, or marry a new partner can be stressful. It can also be stressful for the child's other parent, who might feel resentment toward the new partner or oppose something about him or her, such as his or her religious practices or values. 

If you find yourself uncomfortable with the idea of your child being around your former spouse's new partner, ask yourself why this is. You cannot simply prohibit this individual from being around your child because you do not like him or her. When your child is with his or her other parent, that parent can determine who is to be around the child. However, the court can place restrictions on your parenting time agreement if it determines that exposure to a certain individual is not in your child's best interest.

Modifying a Parenting Time Agreement Due to Changed Circumstances

Illinois family law attorney, child custody battleWhen divorced parents have a parenting time agreement in place, the agreement includes specific times when the child will be with each parent. These guidelines are in place to ensure that the child has a sufficient amount of time with each parent to build and maintain a meaningful relationship with him or her. If one parent continually violates the terms included in his or her parenting agreement, he or she is committing contempt of court and may be subject to civil penalties.

Sometimes, circumstances force parents to cut their time with their children short or run a bit over their designated parenting time. As a divorced parent, you need to be sensitive to these circumstances and willing to be flexible with your child's other parent. That said, you could also face blatant disregard for the court's orders or even an attempt to keep your child from you. Use your discretion to determine whether you need to involve your attorney and the court to resolve parenting time issues such as this.

Parental Abduction

Posted on in Child Custody

Illinois child custody attorney, Illinois family law attorneyWorking together with your former spouse to effectively co-parent your children can be difficult. Sometimes, the issues that drove your marriage apart remain unresolved long after your divorce. Other issues might be resentment over how the divorce was settled or how your former partner is conducting his or her life now. Resentment can be a normal emotion, but it should not leak into your co-parenting agreement with your former partner.

Keeping your relationship with your former partner as free of conflict as possible is important for many reasons. As your children grow and face new challenges, like new levels of independence and choices about employment and higher education, you will need to be flexible with your parenting time schedule and expectations for your changing relationship with your child. It also makes it easier for you to look at issues that arise objectively, rather than emotionally. This skill will make it easy to determine whether an issue requires intervention from the court to resolve.

Keep Your Child out of It

parenting-timeWhen the court determines a custody or visitation schedule for a child, it does so with the child's best interests in mind. The court weighs not only which parent is best equipped to provide for the child financially, physically, and emotionally, but also whether the child could potentially be in danger in either parent's household. If the court feels that there could be any room for the child to be harmed in a parent's home, it could give that parent supervised or restricted visitation with the child. What this basically means is that the court puts restrictions on the parent and child's visits in place to prevent the child from being harmed.

It is rare that a parent has his or her parental rights completely terminated. This generally happens if the parent poses an immediate, serious danger to the child. Restricted and supervised visitation are a way to ensure that even when a parent is not considered to be fit to parent his or her child alone, he or she can still maintain a relationship with the child after he or she divorces from the child's other parent.

The Court Can Require That Your Visits Occur in Your Child's Home

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