Exchanging children between parents can be one of the most stressful parts of co-parenting for numerous reasons. Many times victims of domestic abuse fear coming into contact with their ex as they exchange children for visitation purposes. Fortunately, places such as Children's Safe Harbor, in Rockford, IL exist to provide a neutral place for families to use when exchanging children for parenting time or visitation. The mission of Children's Safe Harbor "is to help facilitate a child's need and right to share a relationship with both of his/her parents."
Divorces come in all shapes in sizes, affecting each family differently. While it is common for parents to be caught up in the whirlwind of attorneys, selling the house, child support, and all of the other aspects of divorce, it is important for parents to be aware of the ways in which children are affected by divorce. Divorce is usually a rattling experience in the life of a child, and it is the parents' responsibilities to both be aware of how their children are affected, and look for ways to help them adjust. Research comparing children of divorce to children who have not experienced divorce shows that children are indeed psychologically affected both short-term and long-term by the separation of their parents.
When couples divorce, staying as far away from each other is often an (unrealistic) expectation that each tends to have. This may be a healthy option for many couples. However, when there are children involved, this idea is nearly impossible. According to local ordinance, co-parenting classes are required to be taken by all divorcing couples with children under the age of 18. In Winnebago County specifically, parents are ordered to attend P.A.C.T. classes with Rockford family counselor Eileen McCarten. P.A.C.T. (Parents And Children Together) is a four hour class taken by both parents in which they learn the effects of divorce on children, and also how to help children cope with this life change. The conflict that inevitably arises as a result of a divorce has many direct and indirect effects on children, and the following provide just a few reasons why P.A.C.T. classes should be taken.
Two of the most important terms for divorcing parents to familiarize themselves with are "sole custody" and "joint custody." An innumerable amount of factors play a part in the determination of which parent will be awarded custody, if not both parents. However, regarding child support rulings, the ultimate determining factor is based on the best interest of the child. As the courts see fit, either joint custody will be awarded to both parents, or sole custody will be awarded to one parent. Every family dynamic is different, and while joint custody may be the most effective plan for one family, it may be completely toxic for another. The following description includes the differences between joint and sole custody, and may help you and your partner determine which parenting plan may be best for you.
Parents often worry about the impact divorce will have on their children but studies have found that there may be less reason to worry about children with divorced parents.
Co-parenting when religion is a factor is always a delicate issue. Whether you and your ex both practice two different religions, or whether only one of you is religious at all, deciding how to raise your child together can be a controversial matter. In situations where religion is involved, respecting your ex's wishes regarding how to raise your child is a necessary component to your co-parenting agreement. While the issue of religion may not be important to you or your ex during the younger stages of your child's life, as the child grows older religion may begin to become more and more important to you and your child. The following describe a few recommendations for those whose co-parenting situation involves a difference of religion.
While many divorcing couples view their divorce as an opportunity to begin an exciting new life, severing all ties with their ex, realistically these expectations for complete alienation of one's ex are almost never recommended when children are involved in the divorce. After your divorce has been finalized and you begin life as a newly single parent, keep in mind that you and your ex will always share the one thing that you both value more than anything-your children. You will remain co-parents for life, and until your children reach adulthood, you will both be legally responsible for their well-being. To successfully co-parent with the least amount of conflict possible, it is always recommended that the lines of communication remain open between you and your ex. The following describe a few reasons why communication with your ex will be in your best interest.