Illinois parents in the midst of a child custody battle know the financial and emotional effects it can have on a family. Most parents will love their children and wish to be with them as much as possible. However, when a divorce occurs, parents can seemingly become completely different people and when this occurs the children involved can suffer. Children can be extremely perceptive when it comes to such matters, and know when the atmosphere within the home becomes unhealthy. To minimize the effects of a child custody battle, parents can do several things.

One of the best ways to minimize conflict in a child custody dispute is to sit down and hammer out a parenting agreement acceptable to both parties. Everyone has different circumstances, and any agreement reached can be flexible or regimented, depending on the needs of the parents and children. Whichever works for both parties is acceptable, but it is ideal to agree as soon as possible.

Another option would be to file a custody action and allow the court to decide the child custody arrangements. However, if this option is taken, it might be a good idea to know that the other party is not obligated to act in the best interests of the children involved. This means they could bring in past lovers, therapists, co-workers or even former friends as a way to sway the custody odds in their favor. If this doesn’t sound like a great alternative, mediation is also an option. Having a third party to help in the decision making process could bring issues to the table neither party has thought about and help the parties reach a solution satisfying to everyone.

Any of these options would be better than dragging out a long, expensive and contentious child custody battle. Illinois parents can sometimes get caught up in the bitter emotions a divorce can leave, and may sometimes forget about what is ultimately at stake. Reaching a quick agreement is one of the best ways to minimize acrimonious child custody battles and help kids begin the process of starting their new lives. If a desirable resolution cannot be reached, there are always legal avenues available to establish a binding custody order or restructure an agreement that is not serving the best interests of the child or children involved.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Custody Thoughts,” Mark A. Barondess, Sept. 20, 2012