Whether you and your child’s other parent recently decided to end your relationship or you have been co-parenting together for some time, you likely understand that co-parenting during the school year tends to require different skills, tools and approaches than co-parenting during the summer does. Your child has different needs and focuses during the school year and summer, so your co-parenting relationship is similarly affected by different needs and focuses during the school year and summer. Thankfully, an experienced Lake Forest, Illinois visitation rights lawyer can help you to both clarify what your co-parenting relationship needs at these different times and to help you obtain access to the tools you need in order to meet the challenges you will face.
The Basics of Co-Parenting During the School Year
Whether you are creating a co-parenting agreement from scratch or are modifying an existing order due to a change in your child’s needs and/or circumstances, it is important to keep the best interests of your child in mind. The best interests of every child are different. But generally speaking, co-parenting during the school year requires a simple, consistent routine, healthy communication, flexibility when possible and appropriate and a commitment to plan ahead whenever doing so is prudent. Children of all ages tend to thrive on routine and a clear set of expectations. If you and your co-parent keep “changing the rules of the game,” your child will almost certainly suffer as a result of the stress that a lack of routine and clear expectations produce.
When thinking about what your co-parenting relationship and approach will need during the school year in order to function effectively, ask yourself and discuss with your Lake Forest, IL visitation rights lawyer what you will need in order to be able to provide a consistent, healthy environment for your child. Would you benefit from a calendar that you and your co-parent can both have access to? Does your child need two sets of any possessions in order to avoid having to haul them back and forth to both residences? It will benefit everyone involved if you plan for both the “bigger picture” and more practical considerations when thinking about effective co-parenting during the school year.
Legal Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about child custody matters and/or effective co-parenting, please consider scheduling a confidential consultation with an experienced Lake Forest, IL visitation rights lawyer today. The law provides a number of different tools designed to assist co-parents with effectively meeting their child’s needs and acting in the child’s best interests. Too often, parents fail to seek legal guidance unless they are immediately tasked with creating a parenting agreement. However, Lake Forest, IL visitation rights lawyers may serve as valuable resources at any point that parents have questions about how to make their co-parenting situation work for everyone involved. Our firm has extensive experience working with both relatively straightforward and truly complex co-parenting situations and we would be happy to discuss your situation with you. Once you have made an informed decision about what may work best for your family, we can provide you with the necessary support and guidance. So please don’t wait. Connect with Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen, LLC today so that we can explore how to best help you, your co-parent and your child be as healthy and low-stress as possible under the circumstances. We look forward to hearing from you.
Understanding Virtual Visitation
When the American Academy of Pediatrics published its most recent guidelines related to screen time, it essentially recommended that infants and toddlers under the age of two be restricted from all screen time save for video chatting with loved ones. The back and forth communication between even very young children and their loved ones is so beneficial that it outweighs the ordinarily harmful side effects of screen time. This is just one example of the ways in which so-called “virtual visitation” can help parents and kids stay connected when they are not under the same roof. The idea of connecting kids and parents electronically has become such a valuable co-parenting resource that it has recently become included in more and more parenting and custody agreements. This area of law is still evolving, but an experienced Lake Forest, Illinois visitation rights lawyer can help you understand whether including virtual visitation provisions in your parenting agreement may be beneficial for you and your child(ren).
Virtual Visitation – The Basics
The term virtual visitation is misleading, as it should really be referred to as virtual parenting time. Co-parents can benefit from virtual visitation arrangements regardless of whether they have joint custody , are considered non-custodial caregivers or are subject to some other custodial arrangement. In essence, virtual visitation is generally comprised of any electronic communication between parent and child that is regularly scheduled. Phone calls, video chats, email, text or instant messaging and video messages are all examples of ways in which electronic means can be utilized in order to facilitate virtual visitation.
Electronic visitation is meant to supplement traditional parenting time and to encourage parents and children to remain connected and invested in each other’s lives while they are apart. This area of law is still evolving, so it is important to speak with an experienced Lake Forest, IL visitation rights lawyer before making any assumptions about how virtual visitation may impact your co-parenting arrangement. But in general, when virtual visitation requests/arrangements are honored by the courts, parents are generally instructed to permit and encourage such communication, to allow it to remain uncensored and to allow reasonable access to such communication when possible. For example, it would be unreasonable for a parent to demand virtual visitation with a child hours past the child’s bedtime. But it would not be generally unreasonable to set up a schedule in which the child is made available for a chat on certain evenings before bedtime, when such communications would not interfere with schoolwork, etc.
Legal Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about virtual visitation specifically or child custody/parenting plans more generally, please do not hesitate to connect with an experienced Lake Forest, IL visitation rights lawyer today. Co-parenting with a former romantic partner is never an easy process. But with the aid of the right tools and access to experienced legal guidance and support, the process can become much more manageable over time. Depending on the unique nature of your parenting situation, virtual visitation may serve as a beneficial part of your co-parenting plan. Please consider reaching out to an experienced Lake Forest, IL visitation rights lawyer today in order to explore this and other options designed to help you promote your child’s best interests. The legal team at Hurst, Robin, Kay & Allen, LLC looks forward to working with you.