The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

North Aurora family law attorney child custody

Even under the best of circumstances, divorce is difficult and stressful. While it is true that going through a divorce with an agreeable spouse can be much less taxing, both emotionally and financially, any divorce has the potential to become a high-conflict divorce. This is especially true when domestic violence is involved in a divorce, which is, unfortunately, not all that uncommon. Exposure to domestic violence and abusive behaviors have been proven to negatively impact children and even increase the chances that the children will exhibit abusive behaviors in adulthood. Because of this, Illinois takes accusations of domestic violence very seriously, especially as the situation pertains to child-related issues such as parenting time.

Determining Parenting Time With an Abusive Spouse 

Every decision a judge makes in Illinois is done after carefully considering all factors pertaining to the child’s best interest. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), the judge assigned to a case will make decisions about parenting time based on the presumption that spending time with both parents is in the child’s best interest. If there is abuse or domestic violence present in the household, you need to be sure to bring that to the judge’s attention so the court can address the issue appropriately.

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DuPage County divorce attorney parenting time

For some couples, the last step of the divorce equation is finished when the judge signs the divorce decree on the dotted line. You can walk out of that courtroom knowing that will be the last time you ever have to see your former spouse again. However, for parents who get divorced, things are not so easy. Having children with someone creates a relationship that you cannot dissolve with a signature. When you and your ex-spouse do not agree on certain issues, especially core issues such as the allocation of parenting time and decision-making responsibilities, it can be a stressful situation for everyone, including the children. Co-parenting is the default parenting agreement that most parents decide to follow, but parallel parenting can also be utilized in high-conflict situations. Both types of parenting plans have their benefits, but an Illinois child custody lawyer can help you choose the right fit for your family.

Co-Parenting Requires Cooperation Between Parents 

Co-parenting is typically the default option that most parents automatically go to when it is time to determine what their parenting plan will look like. However, the traditional co-parenting model is not for all families. The basis of a successful co-parenting relationship is good communication between the parents and a willingness to cooperate and compromise with one another. If you do not have both of those items, you cannot hope to co-parent successfully.

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DuPage County divorce attorney parenting time

Many parents who are divorced or who have never been married often worry about the impact that transitioning between two households has on their children. Some children seem rather unbothered by going from one house to the other, while many kids become frustrated, upset, and stressed. Even months down the road, transition days can be difficult for your children. After all, a day that they are coming to stay with you is a day that they are leaving and saying goodbye to their other parent. These emotions can be difficult for children to deal with and could end up causing issues later in their lives, too. As a parent, there are things you can do to help make transitions between households much easier for your children.

Create a Routine and Stick to It

One of the best things you can do for your children is to find a routine that works for them and stick to it. Kids in general do not do well when their typical routines are disrupted. Once you are settled into a visitation schedule, you should then manage a consistent routine that you can use to help your children adjust to the transitions.

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Geneva divorce attorney parenting time

When you are a parent, one of the greatest joys in life is spending time with your children. The holiday season is a magical time, especially for children, and seeing the happiness on their faces is a pleasure for many parents. When you share parenting time with your children’s other parent, you are also bound to have to share holiday time with them, too. Spending the holidays without your children can be difficult after you have been used to seeing your children on each and every holiday throughout the year. Unfortunately, having to spend holidays apart from your children is often an inevitable reality for many divorced or separated parents. Even though spending what is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year” away from your children does not feel like that at first, it does not have to be as awful as you may think. If this is your first year spending the holidays apart from your kids, here are a few tips to help you through the season:

  • Let yourself experience your emotions. You should not be afraid to grieve the first holiday season without your children. This can be a very emotional time for some parents, but the important thing is recognizing your emotions and allowing yourself to process them. This may include crying or talking to a friend or counselor about your feelings. It is helpful to get them out instead of keeping them bottled up inside, which could lead to resentment and bitterness.

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Yorkville divorce attorney parenting time

Two of the most contentious topics in marriage and divorce are finances and children. Tensions often run high when it comes to determining things such as allocating parental responsibilities and parenting time. After all, it is only natural for both parents to want to spend as much time with the child as possible, but after a divorce, it is unlikely that either parent will get as much time with the child as he or she wants. The general consensus is that it is in the child’s best interest to have a relationship with both parents, which is why the default decision for the court is to award parenting time to both parents. However, in some cases, there may be factors present that could cause the courts to restrict parenting time or order supervised visitation. 

What Is Supervised Parenting Time?

In most cases, parenting time is restricted because one parent expressed concern about the well-being of his or her child while under the care of the other parent. The court will order supervised parenting time if it finds evidence to prove that spending time alone with the parent would endanger the child’s physical or mental health or impede the child’s emotional well-being. Supervised parenting time means that a third party “supervisor” must be present during all parenting time. This supervisor can be a professional, such as a social worker or a behavioral specialist, or it can be a friend or a family member. Whoever the supervisor is, the court must approve the person chosen in the parenting time order. The order can also include other requirements such as:

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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