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Helping Your Child Adjust to Time-Sharing Arrangements

mother dropping off children to their father's house as part of parenting plan with child custody lawyer in Downer's Grove

Divorce is hard on everyone involved, but it can be particularly tough on children. In addition to the breakup of their family home, child custody arrangements mean they will likely be dividing their time between mom and dad and having to spend extended periods in a strange place. The following highlights tips that can make this time easier and help them adjust to the situation.

Child Time-Sharing in Illinois

Rather than simply awarding one parent custody while the other has periodic visitation, the courts today are more in favor of child time-sharing plans that allow both parents to play an active and engaged role in the child’s life.

Under the Illinois Statutes (750 ILCS 5/600), parenting time is likely to be allocated between both parties, depending on their schedules, their ability to provide for the child, and any special needs that may exist. This might mean dividing the child’s time between both parents homes, both on weekends and during the week, as well as allowing for more extended visits during holidays, school breaks, or at other special times of the year.

To make these arrangements easier for your child, follow these tips:

  • Make sure they have a designated space in each parents home, filled with favorite toys and personal items to help them feel more at home.
  • Make sure your arrangements take into consideration their extracurricular and social activities, allowing for the least possible amount of disruptions.  
  • Make an effort to stick with a regular schedule. Establish ground rules with the other parent in regards to matters such as bedtimes, homework, the use of electronic, and the types of snacks allowed.
  • Be consistent with discipline. Be sure that you are in agreement on the types of behaviors which are not allowed and the punishments the child faces for misbehaving.

How Parents Can Help Children Adjust

While you and your spouse may have parted on less than amicable terms, it is important to attempt to put your differences aside for the sake of your children. Kids Health advises parents to avoid the following:

  • Bad mouthing the other parent in front of the child;
  • Telling the child the other parent is responsible for the divorce;
  • Discussing ‘grown-up’ problems, such as financial issues or how lonely you are;
  • Introducing a new romantic partner to the child too soon after the divorce.

Our Chicago Child Custody Lawyers are Here to Help

When you need compassionate, professional legal guidance in creating child time-sharing plans, the Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group is here to help. To request a free consultation to discuss your case, contact our Chicago child custody lawyers today.

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.