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Couples deciding to get divorced in Illinois have generally thought through the impact that separation will have on their own lives. But it is also important to carefully consider how divorce will impact your children, who do not have the maturity to understand why parents separate and what these changes mean. While all divorcing parents must create a parenting agreement that describes parental responsibilities and parenting time, attention must also be given to helping children make the major adjustment to visiting parents in different homes. Here are a few tips that can help.
You may resent your ex and even hate them, but this is not your children’s fault and it should not be their burden to bear. Parents who cannot respect each other in front of their children leave the children feeling guilty, confused, and sad. Even when it is hard, treat your co-parent with respect and avoid badmouthing them to other adults when your children are present.
Doing parenting time exchanges at each other’s homes invites criticism, comparison, and further conflict. Try to arrange drop-offs and pick-ups in neutral areas like the parking lot of a school, park, or grocery store where other people are present and everybody is likely to be on their best behavior. If you need to communicate anything important to your spouse, do it in writing and do not pass messages through your children.
Moving is a traumatic experience for children, even when their parents are not divorced. When you relocate to a new home or apartment, make sure each child has their own space for their belongings - even if it is a designated area in a closet or bathroom shelf. Talk to each child and see what he or she needs to feel comfortable and secure. Avoid moving a child’s things without talking to them and allow them as much independence as possible when making decisions about their space in the home.
The first step to helping your children adjust to life in two households after divorce is a great parenting agreement. For help negotiating a parenting time arrangement that takes your children’s unique needs into consideration, schedule a free consultation with the Hinsdale, IL parenting agreement attorneys with Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio. We believe parents know what is best for their children and will follow your lead while working hard to create an agreement that will be approved by the court. Call us now at 630-920-8855.