Joint custody arrangements should focus on child’s best interests

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Friday, September 6, 2019.

Going through a divorce in Illinois can be stressful, especially if there are children involved. Parents who are attempting to co-parent using a joint custody setup should keep in mind that the point of the exercise is to work together for the good of the children. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to try to see the situation from the perspective of the child to the extent possible. Adjusting to life with only one parent at a time can be difficult.

Logistics should be among the first considerations; if the parents find it inconvenient to shuttle the kids back and forth or find times to make exchanges, it’s even more difficult on the child. It can be impractical for two parents who live a great distance from one another to implement a parenting schedule effectively if it’s a logistical nightmare. It’s important for parents to consider the locations of their homes as well as where the kids’ schools, friends and extracurricular activities are.

If the children involved are old enough to give their input, the parents should ask for it. The parents have every right to overrule the children, but the kids might see some things the parents would otherwise have overlooked. Asking their preferences regarding days of the week is not the same as asking which parent they would choose to live with full time.

Overall, it’s important to create the custody plan with the needs of the children in mind rather than those of the parents. An attorney who handles child custody cases might help by drafting a joint custody schedule that fits the requirements of the situation. In cases where the divorce or custody situation is not amicable, an attorney may be able to help negotiate the terms of custody with the other side or represent the client during family court proceedings.

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