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Helping Children Through the Holidays During a Divorce

Posted in Family Law, Visitation on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

The deterioration of a marriage is emotionally draining. Having to face family members and answer questions about the breakup can be particularly hard. In the case of divorcing spouses with children, facing the situation is unavoidable. Child custody and time-sharing plans are often a point of contention, especially when it comes to special occasions. With the holidays right around the corner, the following tips can help makes things easier for everyone involved.

How Holidays are Handled in Illinois Child Time Sharing Plans

When parents get divorced, family courts today are more likely to favor joint parenting plans, which allow both parties to play an active and engaged role in the child’s life. Under the Illinois Statutes (750 ILCS 5/), parental responsibilities may be allocated between the parents, depending on the particular circumstances involved.

Provided both are willing and able to meet the child’s needs, Illinois court parenting plans may divide time over the holidays, with each having the right to custody on certain days each year. That means if you are granted custody over Thanksgiving or winter holidays, your child is likely to spend the following year in your former spouse’s care.

Helping Your Children Adjust to Holiday Time Sharing Plans

The American Academy of Children and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) advises keeping things simple and straightforward when it comes to making plans for the holidays or talking about the issues involved. Reassure your child that they are in no way responsible for the situation and that both you and their other parent will continue to love and be there for them, no matter what. When it comes to making practical arrangements, keep the following in mind:

  • Abide by any court orders issued in your case. If you are unhappy with the current order, speak to your attorney about requesting a modification.
  • Be reasonable in cooperating with your former spouse. Realize that even though your relationship did not work out, they can still be a good parent to your child.
  • Reassure your child that it is alright to grieve. Avoid putting unreasonable expectations on the holidays.
  • Start new traditions. While it is common to miss activities you used to do as a family, introduce a few fun traditions of your own.

Our Illinois Child Custody Attorneys are Here to Help

Whether it involves making child time-sharing arrangements during a divorce or modifying an existing order in your case, our Illinois child custody attorneys provide the professional legal guidance you need. Call or contact Sabuco, Beck, Hansen, Massino & Pollack, P.C. online today and request a consultation to discuss your case.

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