On behalf of Janet Boyle of Boyle Feinberg Sharma posted in Divorce Mediation on Thursday, August 11, 2016.
In Illinois and throughout the U.S., couples who are ending their marriage have many decisions ahead of them, and for couples with minor children, the divorce process can become more complicated. Legal professionals believe that having a flexible custody and visitation agreement in place, if possible, can help keep family relationships strong and reduce emotional stress as the children grow.
The needs of infants and toddlers vary greatly from those of older children, so the agreement that was put in place at the time of divorce may need to be modified as time passes. Rather than petitioning family court to enact or modify a child custody arrangement, which may be costly and time-consuming, many couples find co-parenting success through mediation.
While strict custody agreements are the best choice in some cases, many parents find a rigid visitation schedule to be limiting and impractical, especially during the teenage years. According to professionals, couples who work together as co-parents can negotiate the visitation schedule amicably at their child’s age milestones, including 12 months, 3 years and once the child begins school. By keeping lines of communication open and working as a team in regard to child-rearing, even if the marriage has failed, a couple is likely to come up with a flexible visitation schedule that works for everyone.
Divorce requires compromise from both parties, especially when the couple has children. As the well-being of the children is often a prime consideration during the divorce process, couples should do their best to work together in all aspects of child care.