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How social media helps parents, children after divorce

Children in Illinois whose parents are divorced may benefit from staying in touch with their parents using social media. According to a study that appeared in the "Journal of Family Issues," a child's relationship with his or her parents after the divorce is a better predictor of him or her adjusting well to the divorce than the relationship between the parents.

The study looked at data on 400 parents and children who were 10 to 18 years of age. Researchers placed coparenting into three different categories that were identified as conflicted, moderately engaged and cooperative. They also identified such elements of the relationship between parents and child as inconsistent discipline, what parents knew about their child and how much closeness there was between them. Researchers found that the relationship between the parents did not make much difference, but children who had more contact with their parents also had a better relationship with them.

Experts point out that for many children, technologies such as texting, Snapchat and Instagram are how they prefer to communicate. While these might not seem like high-value interactions to the parents, children value them. These technologies also make it possible for parents to communicate directly with children. Some parents may hesitate to phone their children if they anticipate having to speak to an ex-spouse first.

Parents may struggle during the emotional process of negotiating child custody, but they should try to stay focused on the same standard that a judge would use, which is what is best for the children. Litigation is an option if parents cannot reach an agreement. In general, courts encourage parents to try to work out minor disagreements instead of returning to court, but if a parent needs major changes in the amount of child support paid or the custody schedule, he or she should go through the legal system for a modification.

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Ryan Family Law P.C.
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Elgin, IL 60123

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