Going through divorce mediation in Chicago can feel like your whole world is crumbling. It can feel like you are losing an uphill battle. Some days are going to be harder than others. The truth is that your life is going to change (a lot) and you are going to have to roll with the punches until you find a new normal.
If you are a parent, it can be even worse. You don't have to get out of bed every day for yourself; you have to do it for them. They are going to be struggling too, and they are going to need you.
As you start to negotiate the terms of your divorce in Chicago, child custody can be the hardest part. In fact, many divorces go on for years simply because parents can't decide who gets the children.
So, who should get them? Here are some things to consider.
When starting to determine custody, it is important that you realize that there are different types of custody that you need to think about.
Physical custody is used to determine where your children get to live. You can either get sole physical custody where you are the primary caretaker or joint physical custody where both of you share your children. Joint physical custody is the healthiest for children, though you are going to have to live close to each other and want to make it work. It can be hard to work together, especially in the beginning.
Then, there is legal custody. This chooses which parent is allowed to make decisions about the children. This includes their school, religion, and how they are raised. It also chooses which parent can make decisions about the children's medical health.
Joint legal custody is the most common. It means that you will have to make all of the decisions about your children with their other parent. However, there are times when this is given to one parent over the other. This is called sole legal custody.
When coming up with custody, especially physical custody, it is important to really think about your children.
While most child custody battles in Chicago can be brutal because neither parent wants to lose their children, the truth of the matter is that you really need to think about them.
This includes asking yourself some hard questions. Who takes care of them the most? Who do they run to for help? Who has time to take care of them? Who has the better home for them?
You may also want to ask them. Older children may be able to make the decision about who they want to live with. Even the courts will listen to teenagers if they feel like they have valid points.
Though it may break your heart to think of your children living with their other parent, there are times when it is in their best interest to do so. You have to let them go so that they can grow into the best people that they can be!
Flexibility is a must when you are parents who only want the best for their children.
Though you may think that once child custody in Chicago is settled, there is no give and take, the truth is that co-parents who are flexible have better-adjusted children. You are going to have to learn to work with your children's other parent so that they can experience all that they can.
If you have the children but their other side of their family is having a party, allow your ex to take them along. There are going to be times when you want the children for something special when it is not your turn to have them. Don't you want to be able to get them anyway? Your children deserve to enjoy every party and outing that they can. You shouldn't hold them back simply because you are not flexible. Learn to work together, the sooner the better, and your children will grow up to be better because of it.
Don't forget to hire an experienced lawyer.
A lawyer, especially one who is specialized in Chicago divorce mediation and child custody, is your best chance for getting the custody that you want. He or she will discuss your children and situation so that you can try to figure out what is best for everyone.
Since this is such an emotional time, it helps to have someone who is not invested in your family. Lawyers are able to look at the situation clearly so that the best decision can be made.
You also should have someone who is on your side. Your lawyer will help you prepare for court and will fight for you every step of the way.
Deciding who gets custody of the children can be the worst part of divorce mediation in Chicago. It can tear your heart out to look at your children and decide that you shouldn't be the one who keeps them most of the time.
It is important that you consider physical custody and legal custody. Though they may live with one parent more than the other, both parents should be able to make decisions together when it comes to how their children are raised.
Once child custody is determined, that is not the end. In fact, if you both can be flexible, your children should be able to enjoy spending time with both of you and your extended families. Though you may want to punish your ex, sharing custody and being flexible is the best way to help your children through this difficult time (and for the rest of their lives)!
It is also not something that you should try to do alone. You need an experienced lawyer who is willing to fight for you. He or she will also be helpful during this emotional time. Your lawyer will help you think clearly, even though it seems too hard to do.
Contact Divorce Mediators in Chicago Today
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180 North Stetson Avenue #3500
Chicago, IL 60601