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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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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce can be complicated on its own, but adding children into the mix can complicate things further. When you get a divorce and you and your ex have children together, you will almost always split decision-making responsibilities and parenting time with them if it is left to the courts to decide. The courts will encourage you and your ex to work together to create parenting plans, but in the event you and your spouse cannot work together, Illinois family courts will intervene and it will be left to a judge to determine what is in the best interests of the children. Sometimes, a parent may believe that what is best for their child is for the other parent to play no part in their life. In cases like these, will the court issue an order to restrict parenting time?

Petitioning the Court for Parenting Time Restrictions

In an effort to be fair to all parents, the court begins its determinations from a place of neutrality. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) specifically states that “It is presumed that both parents are fit and the court shall not place any restrictions on parenting time…” If you believe that your ex should have parenting time restrictions, you must be able to prove to the court that spending time with your ex would endanger the physical, mental, moral or emotional health and well being of your children. If you wish to restrict your ex’s parenting time, you must petition the court for the restriction and attend a hearing.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, IL child custody lawyerAlthough your divorce is between you and your spouse, your child will experience the before and after effects as well. Divorce brings massive changes in a child’s life through child custody and/or relocation at any age. Between witnessing an unstable marriage to adjusting to a new life at “Mom’s” and “Dad’s” house, the influence the divorce has on the child can be tough to deal with.

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, custody and visitation are now known as parental responsibilities. If you and/or your spouse are granted parental responsibilities, you two are in charge of making decisions regarding education, health, religion, and extra-curricular activities on behalf of your child(ren).

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind that will help contribute to successful parenting time:

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child-custodyFor parents going through a divorce, one of the steps in the process is formulating parenting schedule. Formerly known as “visitation”, parenting time arrangements legally lay out your schedule for parenting and spending time with your child. Oftentimes the custodial parent will remain living in the marital home with the children while the non-custodial parent will move into a new apartment or house and care for the children from that location. This allows each parent to have their own space while still caring for their child. However, there is another option that many families have never heard of known as nesting.

What Is Nesting?

Nesting is an alternative arrangement that some divorcing families use to help their children with the transitional period of the divorce. For those with a nesting arrangement, the children will remain in the marital home regardless of who is caring for them. Rather than moving from one parent’s home to another, the parents come to them. This can help children, especially those of a young age, become accustomed to their parents splitting up. It can be difficult for young children to live between two homes and some parents decide to take additional steps to keep their life as “normal” as possible.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,Divorce proceedings can get ugly very quickly, especially when children are involved. Rarely do child custody cases go as planned and both parents usually do not get the custody arrangement that they were hoping for. Regardless of the parents’ marital relationship, many couples get used to co-parenting and can find it difficult to have to “take time off” from parenting their kids. Things can become even more complicated if the parenting relationship is contentious.

What Situations Warrant Visitation?

In order for the court to require supervised visits between a parent and their child, a serious situation must have happened between the parent and child or the two parents. The bad blood between divorcing spouses may prompt one or both parents to try and seek full custody or supervised visitation requirements for the child’s other parent. In order for the court to take this request seriously, one of the following situations must be proven:

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