Calabrese Associates, P.C.

Call Us630-393-3111

4200 Cantera Drive, Suite 200 | Warrenville, IL 60555

DuPage County child custody lawyerDuring a divorce, child custody is often one of the most important concerns that a couple will need to address, but it can also be one of the most divisive issues. When the relationship between parents has broken down, they will be unlikely to agree about what is best for their children, and each parent may believe that they should be granted sole or primary custody. Those who are going through a divorce will need to understand how the law applies to their situation, and by working with an attorney, they can ensure that their parental rights will be protected while also arguing for what is in their children’s best interests.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time

Child custody consists of two separate, but related, issues. Legal custody, which is known in Illinois as the “allocation of parental responsibilities,” addresses the decisions parents make about their children’s lives, including their education, the medical care they will receive, religious practices or training, and the extracurricular activities they will participate in. Physical custody, which is known as “parenting time,” is the time children will spend in the care of each parent. During their parenting time, each parent will have sole responsibility regarding the routine decisions about children’s day-to-day lives, as well as the right to make emergency decisions about children’s health and safety.

While it is possible for one parent to be granted sole legal custody, courts usually believe that it is in children’s best interests for both parents to be involved in children’s lives, and parents will usually share parental responsibilities. However, different areas of responsibility may be allocated solely or primarily to one parent in some cases. For example, if only one parent had been involved in the children’s education during their marriage, such as by helping with homework and attending parent-teacher conferences and school events, that parent may be allocated sole responsibility in this area.

...

Naperville parental alienation attorneyWhen parents choose to get divorced, they will need to address a wide variety of legal issues related to their children, and they will need to determine how they can continue to work together as co-parents to meet their children’s needs in the years following the end of their marriage. Since divorce can be an emotional and stressful process, parents’ negative attitudes toward each other may spill over into their interactions with their children and affect children’s relationships with both parents.

When one parent attempts to negatively influence their children’s attitudes toward the other parent, this is known as parental alienation. Whether it is done intentionally in hopes of gaining an advantage in decisions about child custody or is a by-product of a parent’s emotional difficulties during the divorce process, parental alienation should be addressed promptly to ensure that it does not cause harm to the children or affect the other parent’s parental rights.

Signs of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation can take a variety of forms. It can involve overt comments by a parent about their former partner to their children, such as blaming them for the divorce or claiming that they do not love their children or want to spend time with them. In many cases, parental alienation is more subtle, consisting of activities such as removing a parent as a contact at children’s schools or scheduling activities that the children would enjoy during the other parent’s parenting time.

...

Naperville IL divorce attorneyIf you have recently ended your marriage, or if you are currently going through a divorce, you may be dreading the holiday season. As a newly single parent, you may still be adjusting to spending less time with your kids, and the prospect of being alone during a time that had previously been focused on family may have you stressed out. When adding these concerns to the ongoing risks that everyone is facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be wondering how you will get through the coming weeks. However, by making the right preparations, you can not only survive the holidays, but you can begin the next year on the right foot.

Suggestions for the Holidays After Your Divorce

Here are some tips you can follow during this time:

  1. Plan parenting schedules in advance - You and your former spouse may have already reached an agreement on how your children will divide their time between the two of you, or you may still be hammering out the details of your parenting plan. You will want to be sure to understand which days your children will spend with each of you during the holidays, how children will be transported between your homes, and any other details, allowing you to avoid conflict with your ex. You should also share this schedule with your children so they know what to expect.

    ...

Naperville IL parenting plan attorneyOut of all the issues that divorcing couples must decide on, the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time can often be the most difficult. Even in the most amicable of divorces, child custody decisions can become heated. This is why it is important to have a skilled DuPage County family law attorney working for you when drawing up an equitable parenting plan agreement.

Important Considerations in an Illinois Parenting Plan

Although it may seem impossible to be proactive for every situation that may come up, there is a range of decisions that you and the other parent will want to make sure you address in order to avoid serious parenting disagreements in the future. These topics include:

  • A basic parenting time schedule – The parenting schedule should clarify how much time the child will spend with each parent. The schedule should also spell out clearly who will be responsible for transporting the child for parenting time exchanges. If there are no safety concerns, and both parents get along fairly well, exchanges are usually done at each other’s homes. However, if there is too much acrimony between parents, then a neutral location may be better. In cases where safety is a concern, such as when domestic violence has been an issue, then locations such as police departments may be chosen.

    ...

What Is a Social Distancing Contract for Divorced Parents?The COVID-19 pandemic has forced divorced parents in the U.S. to adjust their parenting plans. Social distancing guidelines have changed what is necessary to protect children from harm, which may include limiting their travel between homes and making sure that they are not exposed to the virus. Some parents have gone as far as to create “social distancing contracts” that stipulate what they should be doing to protect their children from the coronavirus. Creating such a contract may seem prudent given the state of the world, but divorce professionals warn that some parents are trying to use the contracts to control their co-parents.

Potential for Manipulation

Co-parenting can be difficult if your co-parent has a history of manipulative behavior, and the public health crisis gives them a new way to try to control you. Your co-parent may try to pressure you into signing a social distancing contract that they wrote, claiming that it is in your children’s best interest. Provisions you see in the contract may include prohibiting you from:

  • Allowing any guests into your home, including family members
  • Meeting new people outside of your home
  • Attending non-essential gatherings

Limiting these activities may be necessary to protect your children during a pandemic, but a contract lets your co-parent decide who you can see and what you can do with no room for your own judgment.

...
Back to Top