b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled---2024-01-26T145530.237.jpgDivorce can be a challenging and emotionally taxing experience for all parties involved. Unfortunately, children can sometimes be caught in the middle of conflict between parents. Disagreements about how issues related to children should be handled can sometimes escalate into serious conflicts, potentially exposing children to arguments and hostility. However, as parents take steps to put parenting time schedules in place that will allow them both to maintain ongoing relationships with their children, they will want to focus on what is best for their children. 

When negotiating a parenting plan and resolving disputes related to child custody, an experienced attorney can provide invaluable help. With representation from a skilled lawyer, a parent can not only protect their rights, but they can make sure any agreements they make will be legally sound, and they can put solutions in place that will help them minimize the potential emotional harm contentious divorce can have on children.

Focusing on the Best Interests of the Child

In any custody dispute, whether it is a high-conflict divorce case or not, family courts prioritize the best interests of the child. This standard considers various factors such as each parent’s ability to provide a stable home environment, their history of involvement in raising the child, and any potential risks or instances of domestic violence.

To address parenting time issues successfully, it is essential for both parents to demonstrate their commitment to prioritizing their child’s well-being above any personal conflicts with each other. The court may also consider input from professionals such as psychologists, social workers, or counselors who can assess each parent’s abilities and make recommendations based on what they believe will serve the child’s best interests.

The Importance of Co-Parenting

In high-conflict divorce cases involving parenting time disputes, effective co-parenting is critical. Co-parenting requires both parents to set aside their differences and work together for the benefit of their children. Some strategies that can help you focus on co-parenting and providing for your child’s best interests are:

  • Open communication: Establish clear lines of communication with the other parent regarding schedules, events in your child’s life, medical care decisions, educational matters, etc. Being transparent with information can help build trust.
  • Civil Interaction: Maintain a respectful and civil tone when communicating with your co-parent. Focus on child-related concerns rather than areas of disagreement or other issues involved in your divorce. Avoid discussing personal matters or using derogatory language, as this can further escalate conflicts.
  • Consistency: Establish consistent routines and rules between both households to provide stability for your child. This includes bedtimes, mealtimes, homework schedules, discipline methods, etc.
  • Flexibility: Be willing to accommodate changes in the parenting time schedule when necessary due to unforeseen circumstances or special events. Showing flexibility and being willing to help each other when necessary, fosters a cooperative environment while helping you focus on doing what is best for your child.

The Role of Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

If you are struggling to reach agreements on parenting time schedules or other child custody issues, professional mediation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services might help you and your spouse resolve disputes more amicably. Mediation involves meeting with a neutral third party who will help facilitate discussions and assist you in reaching mutually agreeable solutions.

A skilled mediator can guide conversations toward finding common ground while keeping both of you focused on your child’s well-being. By working through conflicts together, rather than having decisions imposed by a judge, you will have greater control over shaping your own parenting arrangements. This can also encourage better communication and cooperation in the future as you work together as co-parents.

Contact Our Wheaton Parenting Time Attorneys

Resolving disputes about parenting time in a high-conflict divorce can be emotionally draining, while also involving a variety of complex legal issues. The guidance and support of a skilled family law attorney can be invaluable during this process. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC., our DuPage County child custody lawyers are ready to advocate for your interests and help you negotiate agreements that will provide for your child’s best interests. Contact us today at 630-665-7300 to set up an initial attorney meeting and get legal guidance and help with your case.