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Five Mistakes That Could Affect the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

 Posted on March 08, 2017 in Child Custody

Naperville family law attorneyIn many divorce cases, proceedings to allocate parental responsibilities—previously known as child custody in Illinois—are challenging, nuanced, and emotionally-charged for all involved. It is not uncommon for “winning” child custody to become the main focus for divorcing partners and parents.

With such high stakes, the situation can quickly get very intense, and the spouses may have trouble communicating and negotiating. If you find yourself in the midst of a difficult and contentious dispute over parenting responsibilities, it is crucial to keep your child’s best interest as your top priority. To do so, you should make every effort to avoid:

1. Allowing Hostile Feelings to Take Priority Over Parenting

The courts are not concerned with why you and your partner are ending your marriage. If there are children involved and child custody is an issue, then the court is concerned with the short-term and long-term well-being of the children.

No matter what the situation is, do not speak disparagingly about your spouse when your children may hear it. Also, avoid venting on social media. Anything you write or post to any social media platform could be used against you in court.

2. Denying the Other Parent Access to Your Children

Illinois courts do not take a positive view of a parent who, on their own accord, restricts the other parent’s time with the children. In most cases, the court generally prefers a custody agreement that supports both parents’ access to and involvement with the children.

If you are seeking a majority of the parenting time, it is even more critical to show the court that you are willing to foster your children’s relationship with the other parent. If you are unwilling or unable to do this, it can negatively impact your chances for the type of parenting arrangement you are requesting.

3. Failing to Cooperate

Regardless of how contentious your child custody case may become, it is a mistake to lose track of your children’s daily and weekly schedules. Do not let a failure to communicate with the other parent negatively impact the children’s school events and extracurricular activities.

Also, remember that you may not withhold visitation due to a failure to pay or a lapse in payment of child support. Generally, even a parent who is delinquent on child support still has a right to parenting time with his or her children.

4. A War of Attrition

Parental responsibility negotiations can start off amicably and then devolve into more dangerous territory. If the other parent becomes hostile, it may seem tempting to reciprocate. This is absolutely not the right response.

Remain calm and civil. Doing so can help show that you are the more mature parent. If you find yourself in a situation with the other parent where you are tempted to speak out of anger, the best thing you can do is to remove yourself from the situation.

5. Changing Jobs or Residence Without Good Reasons

While you are negotiating a parenting agreement, it is not typically a good time to move or change jobs without very good cause, especially if you have primary residential responsibilities regarding your children. Many Illinois judges do not look favorably upon unnecessarily changing a child’s school district and/or taking them away from their established routine and friends.

Of course, if it can be shown that a move or a job change has benefits that would outweigh the negative effects on the child, the situation would be considered more favorably by the court.

Contact Us for Help

If you are considering a separation or divorce and have concerns over how the process could affect your parental rights, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call 630-352-2240 for a confidential consultation at Pesce Law Group, P.C. today.


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