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Children's best interest should be at the center of divorce

During a divorce, it is not uncommon for two individuals to fight over major marital assets, such as their home. However, some of the biggest feuds in Illinois erupt over the children, and many are centered on the parents' interests instead of the children's best interest. A few tips may help people going through the divorce process to ensure that their children are not negatively impacted by the process.

Research shows that when a co-parenting relationship following divorce is negative, a child's mental health may suffer. It can also affect the young person's performance in school, as well as his or her future relationships. However, one strategy that can help the outcome to be positive is for the two parents to come to an agreement on how they will explain to the kids why the divorce is happening. If the two parents can behave in a united way, this can reassure the kids that they will be able to maintain relationships with both of them.

It is also wise to emphasize to the kids that the divorce is not their fault. In addition, it is important for the parents to try to maintain consistency in the children's lives. For instance, the schedules at both parents' houses may need to stay the same for the sake of the kids. This can help the kids adjust to the "new normal" following their parents' divorce.

Divorce is often viewed as a legal process fraught with emotion, especially when children are involved. However, if two divorcing parents in Illinois can strive to find common ground, they may be able to develop a mutually beneficial co-parenting agreement. Both parties have the right to pursue their own interests, while, most importantly, focusing on the best interest of the child.

Source:, "Helping kids cope with parents' separation, divorce", Pamela Knudson, March 17, 2015

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