When it comes to divorce, many different factors require consideration. The situation becomes even more fraught and complicated with children in the picture. One primary concern of a divorcing couple with children should be to ensure their children's best interests come first in terms of decision-making.
A lot of work goes into developing an effective parenting plan. If you and your spouse are willing to come together to try to find a compromise and shared solutions, you can craft an effective parenting plan that works for your whole family.
Collaboration is key
Making an effort to find common ground with your spouse will pay big dividends in the long run for you and your children. A conflictual and drawn-out court battle is traumatic and can leave lasting negative effects on your children. When you work together to co-parent, however, your children benefit from your efforts to collaborate with their other parent. You may want to write down some of your ideas and wishes for your parenting plan to discuss with your family law attorney. Then, when you have a workable proposal, you can negotiate with your ex to find solutions that ultimately work for the highest good of your children.
Major areas to consider
In Illinois, the law establishes four different areas divorcing parents must consider when developing and carrying out decision-making responsibilities. These areas include matters regarding your children's education, religious upbringing, medical matters and extracurricular activities. These factors naturally come into play in your parenting plan. Where you and your ex cannot come to an agreement, your family law attorney may help you negotiate.
Because Illinois is a gender-neutral state in terms of parental responsibilities, both the mother and the father can request the allocation of parental rights in a divorce proceeding. This means, especially if you are a father who fears losing your rights to the mother, you do not have to feel disadvantaged.
Many divorced couples have managed to develop successful parenting plans with the assistance of their family law attorneys and a conscious effort at collaboration. Take your children's needs into consideration above all else, and then the decision-making can naturally follow from there.