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Coming to the realization that divorce is in your near future is no easy task. Going into your marriage, you likely did not even consider that divorce would be a possibility. Whether you have been married for a few years or a few decades, the pain that comes along with an ending relationship can be like no other. The emotional turmoil can be even greater for divorcing parents. Not only does the decision to divorce involve you and your spouse, but you also have to consider the implications that ending your marriage will have on your kids.

Rarely does anyone come to the conclusion of divorce lightly. Perhaps you have had a challenging relationship for years on end, and you are finally realizing that being apart might actually be better for everyone involved—children included. While watching your parents get divorced is undoubtedly difficult for kids of any age, seeing your parents happier as the dust settles can be an even more important lesson for children: Your happiness in life matters. While the early stages and legal process of your divorce will be challenging as a parent, with the following information in hand, you can enter into the process fully prepared for what is to come.

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IL divorce lawyerWhen you have children with another person, you will forever be connected to that person, whether you like it or not. Divorcing couples who have minor children must figure out some sort of agreement for how they will divide their parenting time and how they will allocate their parental responsibilities. Most parents will opt to agree to co-parenting, meaning you work together with your child’s other parent to raise them. However, co-parenting requires a specific degree of communication and cooperation, which not all couples have. For some high-conflict couples, a parallel parenting agreement is a much better option.

What Is Parallel Parenting?

In a normal co-parenting relationship, both parents are able to communicate and are willing to cooperate with one another as they raise their children. In some situations, however, that is not possible. Couples who have exhibited an inability to get along with one another may do better in a parallel parenting situation. Parallel parenting is similar to co-parenting, but with parallel parenting, the parents are disengaged from one another and have limited communication with one another. This style of parenting is meant to reduce the conflict between the parents and the tension that the children may feel.

Benefits of Parallel Parenting

Though it is not necessary for all couples, there can be many benefits to parallel parenting for couples who need it. The basis of parallel parenting is to reduce the amount of interaction between the parents, which in turn reduces the likelihood that you and your spouse will fight or argue in front of the children. Studies have shown that children do not respond to conflict well and can actually suffer long-term consequences if they are constantly exposed to it. In cases where parents cannot seem to get along, parallel parenting is in the best interests of the children.

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