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Child custody matters: Guiding children through a divorce

The vast majority of people in Illinois would likely agree that divorce is difficult for all parties involved. In fact, some people may choose to delay or avoid a divorce because they are worried about the overall well-being of the children. While a contentious divorce can have a negative impact on children, there are certain child custody and other considerations that could help children with the transition to two homes.

As parents shift from one family home to two, there is some inherent upheaval. While there are often negative feelings associated with the end of a marriage, some reports indicate that parents who can work together to reduce the conflict can make the experience easier for children. Parents who can prioritize their children's well-being over their emotions can be successful in this.

While difficult, some ways to smooth the transitions include developing good communication with the other parent and not expecting the child to carry information between two parents. Additionally, declining to speak negatively about the other parent in the child's presence -- and even speaking positively of them -- can help. Viewing the new parenting arrangement as a new relationship, including letting go of old patterns, can help parents be more friendly, aiding their children as they navigate a time of change.

Some would argue that, despite some of the struggles associated with a divorce and establishing a workable child custody plan, children are often better with two homes and happier parents than one home with parents who are in constant conflict. Whatever the reasons are for ending the marriage, parents who are concerned about the well-being of their children can work together to aid their children. For those struck in an unhappy situation in Illinois, an initial consultation with an experienced family law attorney could be the first step to a happier life.

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