Your children are the center of your family, so it makes sense that parenting matters will likely be the biggest complications in your upcoming divorce. Many Illinois couples with minor children have a difficult time deciding on the right terms for their parenting plans.
You have to agree about splitting up both decision-making authority and parenting time, both of which can be a challenge when you are in the midst of a marital dissolution. If the two of you don’t resolve your disagreements and end up litigating custody matters, your children may have to talk with a judge about their custody preferences. That can actually be one of the hardest aspects of divorce for many kids.
Illinois recognizes the preferences of the children
When you look at the statute governing the division of parenting rights and responsibilities, you will notice that the child’s preferences are among the numerous factors a judge must consider. They should familiarize themselves with the child’s wishes and then give them the appropriate amount of consideration given the child’s age and maturity level.
For the children in the family, making statements about their custody wishes to a judge can be very frightening, even if it happens behind closed doors. They may feel like they betrayed one of their parents or that their decision will hurt their bond with the other parent if they ask to spend more time with one.
How can you prevent the pressure of stating custody preferences?
The simplest way for you to take the pressure off of your children is to keep your custody determinations out of court. If you and your ex can settle the matter amicably, then you can simply provide the courts with your suggested parenting plan and potentially keep your kids completely uninvolved.
While it is true that negotiating your own division of parenting time and other parental responsibilities and rights can be a challenge, the benefits often far outweigh the drawbacks. You and your ex can take the pressure off of your children while also getting to maintain control over when you see the children and what responsibilities you each have to them.