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Options to resolve child custody issues

Illinois parents who are going through a divorce will need to determine how to handle child custody. While it would be ideal for both spouses to always agree on how to co-parent their children after a divorce, this is not always the case. When differences do arise, there are several options available to the couple.

In some cases, the ex-spouses choose formal litigation to attempt to resolve their differences. But litigation can be costly and time consuming, and often not the best option to solve smaller custody matters, such as where the children should go to school. If the ex-spouses rely too often on litigation to solve these smaller matters, the court might order them to participate in co-parenting counseling to receive guidance in improving their relationship so they can continue to raise their children successfully after the marriage ends.

Another option available to parents is mediation. However, the agreements made through a mediator are not binding, so the ex-spouses will need to have their lawyers draft the agreement to formalize it. The parents can also rely on the collaborative law process to solve their differences. In this process, the parents hire lawyers and promise not to seek litigation in the future. However, the most recommended option for parents to solve custody issues is to simply talk to each other, by finding the best way to communicate, so that they can continue with the co-parenting process successfully.

A family law attorney can assist a parent with preparation for any of the options and offer guidance to which might work best for the parent's individual case. As with all custody matters, the best interests of the children must come first.

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