Chicago Child Custody Lawyer
When you and your child’s other parent are constructing a parenting agreement, you’ll need to keep one primary consideration in mind: Your child’s best interests. In the chaos and stress of a major life transition, like separation or divorce, it can be understandably tempting to focus on your own needs. After all, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to effectively take care of your child. But with that said, family law judges are obligated to evaluate child custody and parenting arrangements according to the “best interests of the child” standard. As a result, it’s important to work with an experienced Chicago child custody lawyer to ensure that your parenting agreement is focused on your child’s best interests, even when the structure of that agreement may conflict somewhat with your own best interests.
For example, it may be in your emotional best interests to avoid all contact with your child’s other parent. However, if it isn’t within your child’s best interests to cut ties, you’ll need to find compromises. For example, virtual visitation (commonly referred to as “e-visitation”) can allow your child and their other parent to remain in contact via phone, email, video chat, and/or alternative electronic means when they aren’t physically together. Including virtual visitation provisions in your parenting agreement may be in your child’s best interests, even if you don’t relish the idea of having to facilitate this method of communication.
Virtual Visitation – The Basics
You and your child’s other parent can construct your virtual visitation arrangement in whatever way best meets your child’s best interests. If your child is very young, you may want to schedule a 10 minute video chat nightly (or according to whatever schedule makes sense) so that your ex can read your child a bedtime story. If your child is older, you can set expectations for email and video chat time. Essentially, if a method of electronic communication allows your child to remain connected with either parent when they aren’t around, you can set expectations in your parenting agreement for use of this electronic resource. Keep in mind that parenting agreements are legally enforceable, so you won’t want to set expectations that are unrealistic or so inflexible that they become unmanageable for you, your child, or your child’s other parent.
Legal Guidance Is Available
If you and your child’s other parent are no longer romantically connected, it’s important to work with an experienced Chicago child custody lawyer to ensure that your parenting agreement reflects your child’s best interests. The Chicago child custody lawyer team at Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC takes great pride in helping parents navigate challenging legal transitions. Our approach is compassionate, efficient, and dedicated to “getting it right” for each family’s unique circumstances. If you are in need of legal assistance as your family’s circumstances evolve, please don’t hesitate to connect with our Chicago child custody lawyer team today. We look forward to speaking with you.