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Child custody matters often tricky to address in divorce

As children head back to school this fall, one of the major problems divorced individuals may face is how to handle the custody schedule. Child custody can be one of the most stressful parts of a divorce case in Illinois, and even if two people were able to create a co-parenting agreement, clearly communicating with the other parent after the fact can sometimes be tricky. A few tips, however, may help divorced individuals effectively co-parent in Illinois.

An example of a communication problem that may occur during the co-parenting process is if one parent knows about the child's big homework project but the other one does not. Schoolwork can be a tricky area to keep a track of if the child is traveling back and forth between Mom's house and Dad's house. It can be helpful for the parents to request that teachers and the administration at the child's school communicate with both parents at all times. In cases of emergencies, the school may be advised to first contact the parent who is scheduled for custody and then contact the second parent.

Both parents may also benefit from establishing similar routines in their homes in order to provide consistency in their child's life. After all, route and predictability are important for children. The routines should, for example, include similar mealtimes, bedtimes and homework periods.

Although getting divorced can naturally be overwhelming, two divorcing individuals can strive to amicably find common ground through divorce mediation/negotiation. This can make the divorce proceeding easier to complete and also make it easier for the parents to communicate with each other after they split up. If the two individuals, however, are unable to see eye to eye on issues such as child custody, an Illinois court will step in and make these important decisions for them.

Source:, "Back-to-School Tips For Divorced Families", Laura Lifshitz, Sept. 15, 2015

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