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If you are considering divorcing your spouse and you are a parent, you are probably worried how you will raise your child after the divorce. If you and your spouse plan to share parental responsibilities, as is recommended by courts when it is in the best interest of the child, you will have to find a way to effective co-parent with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. This can be much more difficult than it looks. While it is up to you to find the specific co-parenting arrangement that works for your unique circumstances, there are some guidelines which can help you overcome some of the struggles of parenting your child with an ex-spouse.
Make a Specific Parenting Agreement
If you have a cooperative spouse, it is much better to make parenting decisions together rather than forcing the court to allocate parental responsibilities, previously called child custody. In the parenting agreement, or parenting plan, make sure to include joint decisions regarding:
Whether you are newly separated or you are facing your first holiday season as a divorced person, being a parent and sharing your children during the holiday season can be tricky. Oftentimes, both parents want to spend time with their children and extended family or family from out of town by vying for their attention as well. It can be overwhelming to figure out how parents will share responsibility of their children during the holidays, but with a little creativity and flexibility, it is still possible to have a memorable and meaningful holiday season.
When planning for the holiday season as a newly-divorced or separated parent, there are a few things to keep in mind. A little bit of holiday stress is to be expected but there are steps you can take to plan a holiday parenting time schedule that is fair to you, your spouse, and your children.
As any parent can tell you, parents spend a lot of time worrying about their children. A parent may be concerned about bullies on the playground, if their child is zipping their coat up in the cold, or if he or she will be approached by strangers walking home from school. When a parent shares parenting responsibilities with a former partner, he or she usually assumes that the other parent is also looking out for the child’s best interest. Tragically, this is not always the case.
Some parents struggle to separate their own wants and needs from those of the child’s. This can often result in damage to the child’s quality of life. If you are concerned with how your former partner is parenting your child, there are steps you can take. Illinois law provides a court with the authority to limit a parent’s time with his or her child if he or she poses a serious danger to the child’s safety. This can include danger to the child’s physical, emotional, mental, or moral well-being. What is considered a “serious danger” is left to the interpretation of the court.
What to Do If You Wish to Restrict the Other Parent’s Parenting Time
It is extremely common for women to change their names after divorce, usually back to their maiden name. However, an increasingly widespread movement has divorced women legally changing the names of their children, as well. The legality of this is questionable in some states, but it can be a balm to a woman who has gone through an abusive relationship or a nasty divorce. It is important to know the law before you take steps on your children’s behalf.
Traditional Views vs. Modern Views
Historically, there was no option to change your children’s name after divorce. The father’s name was usually the one given to the child, for better or worse, as long as he was still actively involved in parenting that child. However, nowadays, more and more states are allowing a minor child’s surname to be changed after divorce, especially if there was abuse involved. The key question asks, as it does in custody determinations and child support deliberations, what is in the best interest of the child.
Most schools are now back in session after the summer break. This means that many families are getting back into the swing of early bedtimes, homework, and, very soon, parent-teacher conferences. A parent-teacher conference is an opportunity many schools offer at the beginning of the school year for parents to meet face-to-face with their child’s teacher. During the conference, parents are informed about their child’s progress, grades, behavior, and how he or she is adjusting to the new classroom. Parents have the chance to ask any questions they may have of the teacher and learn how best to support their child during the school year. If you are parent who is separated or divorced, parent-teacher conferences can be tricky but there are steps you can take to make them as productive as possible.
Attend Parent-Teacher Conferences Together If Possible
Parents who are separated or divorced often do not get along well with one another. However, those who share a child or children are going to have to find a way to work together for the benefit of their child. If both parents can attend conferences together without serious drama or arguing, going to a parent-teacher conference together is the best way to make sure parents and teachers are on the same page.