Just as no two marriages are exactly the same, neither are any two divorces. Children in different families may have various reactions when learning of their parents' plans to divorce. In fact, individual children within your own family may respond differently from one another as well. One of your kids may become a bit more reclusive than usual. Another may be quite vocal regarding how he or she feels about the situation.
Like most good parents in Illinois, you want to provide the love and support your children need to move on in life in as healthy a manner as possible. You also want to protect your rights as a parent and do what you believe is best for your children. When it comes to your new parenting plan, however, the court will have the final say. There's a lot you can do ahead of time to map out an agreement, such as discussing possible custody options with your soon-to-be former spouse.
Have you considered a bird nesting arrangement?
Many families of divorce live extremely busy lifestyles. Some children suffer tremendous stress from having to shuttle back and forth between different homes, especially if they're not close in distance. A rising new trend known as bird nesting may be a viable option for you if you're hoping to avoid such problems. The following information explains the bird nesting process as well as possible benefits and downfalls:
- The basic way bird nesting works is that your children would remain living in the home you all shared as a family during your marriage. You and your former spouse would take turns living with them.
- Many people see the fact of not having to sell their house as a major incentive to try this process.
- If stability and daily routine are high priorities for you and your kids, bird nesting may be a good choice for you. Other than getting used to living with only one parent at a time, kids' lives can remain relatively the same as their pre-divorce days.
- If you think there is even the slightest chance that you and your spouse may reconcile at some point, bird nesting allows you to easily slip back into a family living arrangement.
- A downside to the process might be that you have to have another place to live when it's not your turn to reside with your children. Depending on your situation, this may be financially challenging.
- You may encounter unexpected emotions while continuing to share a home with your former spouse. For instance, personal items, such as clothing or toiletries may regularly be left where you can see them. Some people who have tried nesting say this can be a very awkward experience.
You'll also want to consider other factors, such as home maintenance, mortgage payments and other issues related to finances and running a household. Will you split care duties and financial obligations 50/50? Will you all spend holidays together? The good news is that you can design your parenting agreement to fit your particular needs and post-divorce goals.
Many Illinois parents ask experienced family law attorneys to review their proposed parenting plans before submitting formal petitions in court.