Studies show that when it comes to parenting time (visitation) after divorce, quality—not just the quantity—of time spent matters greatly. The moment a parent decides to end their marriage, they are flooded with a plethora of emotions. Mixed feelings such as confusion, anger, and fear are common, especially when the subject of parent-child relationships surfaces. It is understandable to be concerned about the logistics of your child's future relationship with the other parent, as well as how your child will fare emotionally and mentally as they experience the transition.
The Purpose of Visitation and Parenting Plans
According to Illinois law, a parenting plan refers to a written agreement between divorced, separated or unmarried parents that allocates a number of parental responsibilities to each party. The plan also addresses issues such as visitation, custody, and the child's overall lifestyle following the separation. While parenting plans and visitation arrangements exist to provide a method of family organization and to minimize conflict following the divorce, they also exist to protect the child's well-being. One of their primary purposes is to help establish, strengthen, and preserve parent-child relationships.
What the Studies Tell Us
How do you know if your parenting time arrangements are right for your family? Do your visitation plans have a positive impact on your child, or are they weakening your child's bond with the non-custodial parent? Psychology Today reports that research has shown that conflict is reduced for both parents and children when equal parenting—arrangements that equally and fairly divide parental responsibilities--are the primary focus.
The same studies also indicate that the quality of any parent-child relationship is significantly dependent on the well-being of the parent. When your parenting plans are fair, considerate of both parties, and encourage consistent, reliable parenting time with both parents, you can expect them to have positive long-lasting effects on your child.
Creating the Most Appropriate Parenting Plan for Your Family
Like most parents, you probably want to arrange healthy parenting time agreements that protect your child's best interest and your family's well-being as a whole. It is important to discuss these concerns with an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney before making any permanent decisions. We can help you reach a compromise with the other parent that is fair to each of you while protecting your child's best interests. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC today at (630) 793-6337 for a personal consultation.